A former vice-president of Paramount Pictures and MGM, Peter Kuyper founded MPLC in the US in 1986 after realising the need for rights holders to be remunerated for their audio-visual content being shown publicly
Peter left MPLC in early 2020, following Tenzing’s investment in December 2019, to focus on personal ventures and charity work.
A chartered management accountant and IP expert, Mike Weatherley was previously Group Finance Director for a manufacturing company acquired via MBO (and awarded two Queen’s Awards for Industry in 1999 and 2000).
He was subsequently Finance Director of record producer Pete Waterman’s group of businesses and then MP for Hove (2010 to 2015 including being IP advisor to Prime Minister David Cameron). He rejoined MPLC in 2015 and became CEO of MPLC in January 2019.
Mike’s passionate about ensuring creative people are rightfully paid for their work and keeping funding flowing through creative industries.
Launching in the UK in 2004, MPLC has grown to become the largest non-theatrical TV and movie licensing company in the world, largely through its Umbrella Licence that enables licensees to legally show that content publicly. Founder Peter Kuyper’s search for an exit strategy that was right for him and his family’s business led him to Tenzing, a partnership that has so far withstood a pandemic and has international growth firmly in its sights.
A combination of trust, likeability and being people-minded sealed the deal, says MPLC CEO Mike Weatherley.
A swift understanding of the MPLC business while implementing positive change in a collaborative fashion has not only “added value” but “been a breath of fresh air”. According to Mike, the Tenzing approach of asking, “what can we do?”, versus “telling me what to do every day”, has been a welcome surprise.
As MPLC expanded its global reach and grew beyond its origins as a family business; realising some of his investment, with the goal of exiting, increasingly became an attractive option for Founder Peter Kuyper. After considering a range of investment options, including flotation, private equity – and Tenzing – emerged as the perfect fit. MPLC could see Tenzing genuinely means it when we say “grow with us” – an ethos everyone in the company has bought into.
Within the first two months, it was clear that with Tenzing’s support, MPLC had the potential to soar as a business. Even under the strain of a global pandemic, MPLC’s growth strategy has held strong, with all planned growth projects launched, and 2020 revenues exceeding those of 2019. Tenzing has added extra firepower to areas like financial forecasting, staff development and business negotiations. MPLC is now well on its way to achieving its goal of becoming the global de facto standard for non-theatrical licensing.