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16 May 2006
Circle Studio, the Derby-based software company originally responsible for the creation of blockbuster video games franchise Tomb Raider, has secured seven figure funding from Bank of Scotland Corporate to expand its business into the brand new DVD games sector.

The funding will allow Circle to exploit this exciting new format and the company has already acquired several exclusive licenses to produce official DVD games for super-brands such as the 2006 FIFA World CupTM, Eurosport, Discovery Channel, Discovery Kids and the NBA.

Circle is an independent software developer and publisher, employing around 50 people. The majority of its staff are highly skilled software developers and the company has secured its new funding from Bank of Scotland in order to optimise the operation of its new DVD games publishing division.

Circle considered a flotation on the AIM market last summer to help fund expansion but preferred to keep its business in private hands. The company's first venture into the DVD games sector in December 2005, a collaboration with Virgin and EMI/Universal called 'Now That's What I call a Music Quiz', topped the UK sales charts almost immediately. It has now sold over half a million copies and is the fastest-selling DVD game to date.

Circle was founded in 2003 by Jeremy Heath-Smith and Adrian Smith. The brothers share over 40 years' collective experience in the sector and are games industry veterans. They plan an aggressive release schedule over the coming months, commencing with games based on two of Dreamworks' blockbuster animated movies: Shrek and Madagascar. These titles are to be followed with the official Eurosport quiz game, two Discovery Kids adventure games and the FIFA World Cup title.

Circle CEO Jeremy Heath-Smith says "Bank of Scotland Corporate reacted quickly and efficiently to our business proposal and was able to make a decision within days. Their grasp of our new business in such a short time is a credit to the team"

Nigel Wilson, Relationship Manager for Bank of Scotland Corporate in Derby, said, "I am very pleased to have been able to offer this innovative Derby-based business the necessary level of funding to enable it to continue to develop and grow. We were able to put these facilities in place very quickly thus enabling the company to take advantage of the significant opportunities that exist in their marketplace."


Press information
James Crawford, Mike Smethurst, Jessica Bowker or Stephanie Watson at Euro RSCG Biss Lancaster on 0161 236 2277.

Bank of Scotland Corporate
Bank of Scotland Corporate, part of HBOS plc, has a reputation for excellence in the provision of corporate finance, delivering innovative funding solutions across a range of markets. With experience across many areas of corporate finance, including Joint Ventures, Integrated Finance, Structured Finance, Acquisition Finance, Infrastructure Finance and Housing Finance, Bank of Scotland can draw on an expert pool of professionals with proven track records. Bank of Scotland provides funding to more Management Buy-Outs than any other bank in both the UK and Europe and is now recognised as the top arranger for PFI/PPP deals. Bank of Scotland Corporate employs over 8,300 employees. Total lending at the end of 2004 stood at £78.8 billion.

Susie Hamilton - PR & Marketing Manager
Tel + 44 (0) 1332 545040
York House, Stephenson's Way, The Wyvern Business Park, Derby DE21 6LY ENGLAND

About CiRCLE
CiRCLE creates and publishes DVD games based on licenses and collaboration with mass-market brands. DVD games run on standard TV DVD players, using the DVD remote as the control pad. CiRCLE's titles feature hundreds of trivia and knowledge questions based on video clips, pictures and audio. CiRCLE's games also include many additional interactive features such as on-screen playing arenas, mini-games and picture puzzles.

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