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Former Bigben directors launch new venture

Andrew Shephard and Bill Stirling, former directors of defunct publisher Bigben Interactive, have successfuly led an MBO to set up new company Accessories 4 Technology, acquiring the 4Gamers, 4Tunes and Dance: brands.

Bigben went into administration last month, citing pre-Christmas console shortages as the cause of severe cashflow problems. Former executives Shephard, Stirling, Phil Hesketh and Alison Granaghan say they devised a 'back to basics' business plan with which to move forward, and received "significant institutional financial backing" to support the venture.

"The key focus of the A4T business model is the accessories marketplace, which has always been one of the core competencies of the business," said Shephard.

"Over the past five years we have built the 4Gamers gaming accessories brand into a very significant player in this dynamic marketplace. The MBO team strongly believes that we will continue to develop the brand to become a major force within Europe in the next three years."

Bill Stirling went on to reveal that a new range of 4Tunes multi-media accessories will be launched this summer, adding that "several major UK retailers" have already signed up to promote the range.

"In addition, we will be launching two new products to our highly successful Dance:UK range in time for Christmas 2005, and are currently evaluating several opportunities to launch Dance:USA later this year," Stirling said.

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Ellie Gibson: Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.