Thursday 24 Apr 2014
BBC Worldwide today announces that it has concluded negotiations with the administrators of Woolworths over 2|entertain.
This move conclusively secures 2|entertain's future, bringing to a close a sale process which began in late 2008. It ends a period of uncertainty, triggered by the collapse of Woolworths, and ensures that consumers can continue to enjoy their favourite BBC titles on DVD and Blu-ray, as well as protecting the investment made by BBC Worldwide in 2|entertain over the past six years.
2|entertain was created in September 2004 as a 60:40 joint venture with Woolworths, combining the former VCI video/DVD, music and TV production business with BBC Worldwide's video publishing arm. It publishes popular DVD titles such as Gavin & Stacey, Doctor Who, Top Gear and Fawlty Towers and distributes product in over 60 territories worldwide, including North America, Australia and Japan. The global appeal of natural history series Planet Earth saw the company sell almost seven million units of the title globally, becoming the biggest-selling factual HD DVD in the US along the way.
The agreed price of £17m for the purchase of an outstanding 40% minority stake in 2|entertain has been funded from existing cash at BBC Worldwide, which has no access to licence fee income. This consideration represents the fair value of the stake as agreed between BBC Worldwide and the administrators of Woolworths, following the insolvency of Woolworths and the subsequent exercise by BBC Worldwide of its right to acquire the outstanding shares in 2|entertain.
John Smith, CEO, BBC Worldwide, said: "I am pleased that we have finally concluded these negotiations, and have secured the future of 2|entertain. This comes as good news for a variety of stakeholders. 2|entertain's retail partners know it is now backed by a stable owner. Consumers can continue to enjoy BBC content on DVD in their own homes. The independent production sector already works closely with 2|entertain. And licence fee payers will continue to benefit from 2|entertain's contribution to BBC Worldwide, which helped us return a total of £153m to the BBC in the last financial year."
Paul Dempsey, CEO of 2|entertain and Managing Director, BBC Worldwide Home Entertainment, said: "The 2|entertain business has not been distracted by the events of the past 18 months, continuing to deliver impressive results. Under full BBC Worldwide ownership, it now looks forward to a more settled period and playing an important role in BBC Worldwide’s future plans."
NOTES TO EDITORS
2|entertain is the UK's leading independent publisher of video and music, with a broad portfolio across all genres of music and video. A global entertainment player, 2|entertain consists of three divisions: 2|entertain video, Demon Records and Banana Split Productions. 2|entertain was created in September 2004 as a joint venture with Woolworths Group, combining the former VCI video/DVD, music and TV production business with BBC Worldwide's video publishing arm. 2|entertain was awarded with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in April 2008.
BBC Worldwide was advised by Nomura International and Olswang.
2|entertain Fact Sheet
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