For Immediate Release
11 March 2021
The Firm, the UK’s Oldest Enterprise, Plans IPO in Late 2021
LONDON, England, United Kingdom — The Firm, a diversified enterprise focused on revenue generation through asset management, content generation and global branding, has announced plans to take the company public, with an Initial Public Offering scheduled to happen during the fourth quarter of 2021.
“The Firm is adapting to new realities,” said COO Charles Philip Arthur George, prince of Wales and earl of Chester, duke of Cornwall, duke of Rothesay, earl of Carrick and Baron Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland, known colloquially as “Prince Charles.”
“We can no longer operate in a business-as-usual model and we believe that taking the company public will allow us to unlock the underlying value of our brand in a way that is commensurate with the financial expectations of a 21st century enterprise,” Charles said.
In anticipation of the Firm’s transition, Charles announced a multi-platform branding and content generation deal with Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, YouTube, Reddit and Clubhouse. “We will be launching the first integrated, cross-platform, organically generated reality show in history,” Charles said. “As the Americans say, it’s going to be awesome.”
The new media initiative will be managed by Harpo Productions, Oprah Winfrey’s production company. Harpo offered an early look at the Firm’s media reach with a broadcast special in the U.S. on March 7 featuring the Duke and Duchess of Sussex that drew an audience of nearly 18 million. Early reviews described the broadcast as a “bombshell” and subsequent earned media coverage of the event is estimated to carry an advertising equivalency value of more than $450 million.
In addition, Piers Morgan, the UK-based media personality and former anchor of “Good Morning Britain,” will become Executive Vice President of Content for the new organization, which will be known as The Royal Cluster, PLC. It will trade under the ticker ROC on the London Stock Exchange, the New York Stock Exchange, Euronext and the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
The Firm was founded more than 1,200 years ago and has adapted to wars, famine, religious upheavals, economic volatility and a succession of meddlesome prime ministers, but recognizes that its current challenges are among the most difficult it has faced during its long history.
“We realize we have to lean in harder to our future, and we’re taking steps to do that,” said Keeper of the Privy Purse Sir Michael Stevens. Despite a loss of $40 million borne by the Firm due to the pandemic, Sir Michael said, “We have no intention of asking for extra funding and will look to manage the impact through our own efforts and efficiencies.”
Part of those efficiencies will be a transition to a “slim-line monarchy,” a vision initially outlined by Charles in 2020. The Firm has taken several steps recently to become leaner and more efficient.
—The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have agreed to leave the Firm to explore independent career opportunities. While the Sussexes will be free to operate a brand and content-generation platform that implicitly acknowledges their ties to the Firm, they will be expressly forbidden from profiting from their former status as working members of the Royal Family. In addition, the Sussex’s son Archie has been delisted from the line of succession. Under the arrangement, the Firm will remain free to monetize its association with the Sussex’s, as exemplified by Harpo’s broadcast special. Total cost savings to the Firm are estimated to be approximately $45 million annually.
—Andrew Albert Christian Edward, duke of York, earl of Inverness, and Baron Killyleagh, known colloquially as “Prince Andrew,” has been placed on permanent leave from the Firm following an unsuccessful attempt at image rehabilitation. Cost savings are estimated at approximately $10 million annually. Similar to the Sussex arrangement, the Firm will retain the rights to profit off the likeness and image of Prince Andrew with regards to content generation.
—The Firm has implemented an aggressive new tax strategy to minimize the liability of its Chairwoman, Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of her other realms and territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, known colloquially as “The Queen.” This new strategy will minimize inheritance taxes and allow full preservation of her net worth of approximately $500 million.
The Firm’s transition is a significant shift away from traditional real estate management through its primary real estate holdings, the Duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster, which together represent net assets valued at $1.9 billion. Total calculated net value of the Firm is approximately $88 billion. A portion of that wealth comes courtesy of a trust known as the Crown Estate, a collection of lands and other holdings that functions as the sovereign’s personal estate and is technically neither the property of the British government nor that of the royal family. Including 263,000 farmed acres, a significant portion of the buildings in central London, and about half of the UK shoreline, including 12 miles of seabed extending out beyond those coasts (yes, really), the Crown’s estate holdings in 2021 were calculated to have a capital value of £14.3 billion (about $17.4 billion) and a property value of £13.5 billion ($16.4 billion.)
* * *
Contact: Piers Morgan, email@example.com