Viacom to buy Channel 5 for £450m

Jim Davidson is announced as winner of Celebrity Big Brother Under Richard Desmond, Channel 5 revived reality TV show Big Brother

Related Stories

US media group Viacom has agreed to buy the UK's Channel 5 for £450m, it has been announced.

Viacom, the owner of MTV, will be acquiring the channel from Richard Desmond's Northern & Shell group.

Viacom described Channel 5 as "one of British television's biggest brands" and said the acquisition would "accelerate" its strategy in the UK.

It added that Channel 5 would complement Viacom's existing pay-TV networks.

As well as MTV, Viacom also owns Comedy Central and children's network Nickelodeon.

Mr Desmond put Channel 5 up for sale in January, four years after having bought it for £103.5m, and was reportedly expecting to raise about £700m.

The sale to Viacom was more in line with analyst forecasts which valued the television station at between £400m and £500m.

Transformation

The sale reportedly drew interest from more than 20 potential buyers, including Discovery Communications, Scripps Networks and BSkyB, as well as Viacom.

Viacom's president and chief executive, Philippe Dauman, said: "Channel 5's momentum is indisputable, with impactful programming, increasing popularity and a growing digital platform.

"Channel 5's management and employees have done an outstanding job building their brand and we are pleased to welcome them to our team."

Channel 5's chief operating officer, Paul Dunthorne, said the business had been "transformed" since Northern & Shell bought it in 2010.

He added: "The combination of Channel 5 with Viacom's global resources, technology and expertise adds further to the momentum of the business and offers numerous exciting opportunities for the channel's future."

Channel 5 was launched in March 1997 as the UK's fifth terrestrial TV channel.

Its most popular shows currently include Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother, as well as Australian soap operas Neighbours and Home And Away.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Business stories

RSS

BBC Business Live

  1.  
    MARKET REPORT 09:26:

    The major European stock markets have had a muted start this morning.

    • The FTSE 100 is down 0.12% at 6811.88
    • The Dax is up 0.02% at 9472.17
    • The Cac 40 is down 0.12% at 4375.75

    BAE Systems is the biggest winner in London, up almost 3%, while Morrison Supermarkets has dropped 2.25%.

     
  2.  
    ISLAND FLING 09:11:
    Apia

    Some conferences are more appealing than others. The third UN Conference on Small Island Developing States begins in Apia, Samoa today. Some 50 countries are invited, and the agenda covers a wide-range of topics, including sustainable energy, water and sanitation, and biodiversity.

     
  3.  
    Via Twitter Jamie McGeever, chief markets correspondent for Europe, Reuters

    tweets: "Italian manufacturing sector contracts for first time in over a year. PMI falls to 49.8 in Aug from 51.9 in July, expected 50.8."

     
  4.  
    PERFORM BUYOUT 08:50:

    Perform Group, which owns the Omnisport sport news agency, rose 26% to 256.7 pence in London after Access Industries Group said it would buy the company. It already owns 42.5%.

     
  5.  
    SAMSUNG EXPANDS 08:35:
    Samsung

    South Korean giant Samsung Group is to become even bigger, Bloomberg reports, after merging its shipbuilding and engineering units. Shares in both firms rose as a result of the announcement.

     
  6.  
    ECUADOR'S BITCOIN 08:19:

    Ecuador says its new digital currency will begin circulating in December. The electronic money will be the first backed by a central bank, and will work alongside the country's current currency - the US dollar. The president says it will help poorer people gain access to banking.

     
  7.  
    MICROSOFT ULTIMATUM 08:06:
    Microsoft China

    The clock is ticking for Microsoft in China. Competition authorities have given the firm 20 days to reply to questions over the compatibility of some of its software, Reuters reports. Microsoft is one of several foreign companies that have come under scrutiny in the country in recent weeks.

     
  8.  
    PUTIN SEEKS PARTITION 07:51:
    Putin

    The Financial Times leads with Vladimir Putin's call for talks on "statehood" for south-east Ukraine. The paper calls it a provocative comment, which will heighten fears that Moscow is seeking partition for Ukraine. The Daily Telegraph says David Cameron and Barack Obama are to respond to the Russian president by urging NATO allies to increase defence spending. In a leader article the paper also recommends fresh sanctions.

     
  9.  
    BERKELEY PERFORMANCE 07:37:

    Berkeley Group, the home builder, is having its annual meeting today. The firm is "well positioned to continue to invest in the business and deliver returns to shareholders. Earnings this year are anticipated to be in line with current market expectations," chairman Tony Pidgley will say.

     
  10.  
    KIER CONTRACT 07:23:

    Kier Group, the builder, says it is the preferred bidder to design and build a new £50m residential tower in London. The company says it will "design and construct 224 luxury apartments arranged in four blocks".

     
  11.  
    GOING SOUTH 07:11:
    St Andrews

    The Guardian reports that Scotland's top universities are bracing themselves for a "brain drain" of their most talented scientists if there's a "yes" vote for independence. The paper says senior figures believe Scotland's best known universities would lose access to billions of pounds of funding - the subjects most at risk are said to include advanced computing and genetic research. However a source close to the Scottish government says the concerns are misplaced and research funding will be maintained.

     
  12.  
    CUBAN IMPORTS 06:57:

    New rules are coming into force in Cuba, limiting the amount of goods people can take into the country in their luggage. For example, Cubans will be allowed only 10 kilos of detergent rather than 40, 24 bras rather than 48, and just two flat screen televisions. Many Cubans see the new restrictions as throttling one of the few sources of high-quality consumer goods.

     
  13.  
    RAC LISTING 06:47: Radio 5 live
    RAC rescue vehicle

    Holly Cook, of Morningstar, was on 5 live too, talking about the car breakdown specialists RAC, who are said to be considering a stock market flotation. How come? It shows "more confidence in the market" and may be seen as a good investment as its business is easily understood, she says.

     
  14.  
    FINANCE LITERACY 06:41: Radio 5 live

    Tracey Bleakley adds that the first rule of money management is "knowing the difference between something you need and something you want." Think about that in the lunch queue.

     
  15.  
    FINANCE LITERACY 06:35: Radio 5 live
    Classroom

    Tracey Bleakley, chief executive of the Personal Finance Education Group is talking about the government's new plan to provide education on financial planning. "We've all got to talk about it," she says, adding that children could educate their parents. That way people can see through "the marketing" that lots of debt is a good idea.

     
  16.  
    TESCO PERFORMANCE 06:30: Radio 5 live

    Tesco is struggling to compete with the likes of Aldi and Lidl because the smaller supermarkets stock fewer lines and focus on keeping prices low. "Tesco are giving people far too many reasons to go elsewhere," Steve Dresser, retail analyst, tells Wake up to Money.

     
  17.  
    TESCO'S NEXT MOVE 06:27: BBC Radio 4

    Tesco's new boss, Dave Lewis, starts work today at the beleaguered supermarket chain, and Holly Cook, of the investment site Morningstar, tells Today that his first move may be to slash prices. Tesco, she says, "used to be a value proposition," but is now "not that much cheaper" than its rivals.

     
  18.  
    EU REVOLT 06:20:
    Cameron

    In its main front page story, the Independent says David Cameron is facing a damaging new revolt over Europe. It says up to 100 Conservative MPs are planning to defy him by declaring that they'll vote to leave the EU - regardless of what concessions he wins for Britain.

     
  19.  
    NETWORK RAIL 06:17: Radio 5 live

    Philip Haigh, railway writer, is still on Wake up to Money. Why is Network Rail in £33bn of debt? It's been spending lots of late, he says. Railway stations, for example, have never looked better. "You just have to look at King's Cross and see what they've done there," he says.

     
  20.  
    BORIS TAKES OFF 06:14:

    Boris's comments come as we await news on whether the Airports Commission will put his favoured plan for a Thames estuary airport back onto its shortlist of options. Incidentally, Mr Johnson is seeking nomination as the Conservative parliamentary candidate in Uxbridge and South Ruislip - where Heathrow expansion is widely opposed.

     
  21.  
    BORIS TAKES OFF 06:07:
    Plane over Heathrow

    The Telegraph carries a piece by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, in which he warns that expanding Heathrow, and ditching his plan for a new airport in the Thames estuary, would be a "disaster". But Mr Johnson, who has previously called for the closure of Heathrow, now suggests it could remain open as a secondary airport.

     
  22.  
    NETWORK RAIL 06:03: Radio 5 live

    Philip Haigh, railway writer, is on Wake up to Money, talking about Network Rail's move to the government's balance sheet. On the one hand, he says, it means the state-owned company can borrow more cheaply from the government, but the government will also be able to appoint directors and intervene in things like executive pay.

     
  23.  
    06:01: Howard Mustoe Business reporter

    Morning! Get in touch via email bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk or via Twitter @BBCBusiness

     
  24.  
    06:00: Joe Miller Business Reporter

    Good morning. It's a good day for current account holders - particularly those who have experienced the maddening misfortune of being charged for going overdrawn by a few pennies. Banks will now have to give customers until 2pm to cover funds before slapping on a levy. Stay tuned for reaction to that news, and the rest of the business headlines.

     

Features

  • Alana Saarinen at pianoMum, Dad and Mum

    The girl with three biological parents


  • Polish and British flags alongside British roadsideWar debt

    Does the UK still feel a sense of obligation towards Poles?


  • Islamic State fighters parade in Raqqa, Syria (30 June 2014)Who backs IS?

    Where Islamic State finds support to become a formidable force


  • Bride and groom-to-be photographed underwaterWetted bliss

    Chinese couples told to smile, but please hold your breath


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.