Roo Group, the video services company that seems to be constantly reshuffling these days, last week closed down the unit derived from its acquisition of peer-to-peer startup Wurld Media last year. New York-based Roo said publicly it had laid off 10 people, closed the Wurld team’s office, and would be eliminating associated costs, with the effect of “reduc[ing]
2008 expenses without negative impact to revenue growth.”
This news comes after Roo (OTC:RGRP) named a new CEO and saw the resignation of four of its directors in December. There’s a lot more meat in the Roo restructuring announcement from today — hirings, a change of headquarters, a new international focus, and plans for mobile video acquisitions — if you want to read it.
We’ve taken a special interest in Wurld Media, the peer-to-peer startup Roo bought in February 2007 for up to $10 million in cash and stock (the actual sale price has been pegged at $4.3 million). Wurld is entangled in a number of lawsuits, including larceny and money laundering charges against its executives as well as a class-action lawsuit brought by former employees demanding backpay.
Wurld had been ordered to pay nearly $1.3 million in judgments over the last year, according to the Albany Times Union, which also reported last week that the Roo acquisition resulted from Wurld having more than $1 million in debt at the time it was bought. The Roo Business Solutions Unit, an enterprise P2P product for media companies based on the Wurld acquisition and led by former Wurld CEO Greg Kerber, no longer has a functioning website.
We’ve been tipped off about additional departures by Roo executives and members of its sales team. It does appear some sales people have jumped to competitor NeuLion within the last month; the rest we’re trying to confirm and understand further. Let us know if you know. Roo did not respond to repeated requests for comment.