Press Office

Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

BBC Worldwide Press Releases

BBC Worldwide to complete disposal of BBC Magazines titles

BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC and a wholly owned subsidiary, announces that completion of its previously announced sale of BBC Magazines' assets to Exponent Private Equity ("Exponent") is due to take place on 31 October 2011.

In addition to the outright sale of six magazine titles, a number of long-term publishing licences and contracts to publish a further four, the assets to be acquired by Exponent include BBC Magazines' shareholdings in two joint ventures – subscription fulfilment business Dovetail and distribution business Frontline – as well as its stake in Origin Publishing.

Completion follows regulatory clearance from the Office of Fair Trading obtained earlier this week.

Completion of the sale of BBC Worldwide's shareholding in Indian publishing joint venture, Worldwide Media, to fellow shareholder Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd took place last week. The two transactions will together generate cash proceeds of £121 million, which will be returned to the BBC.

John Smith, Chief Executive, BBC Worldwide, said: "With completion imminent, I would like to acknowledge, with gratitude, everything that has been achieved in BBC Magazines.

"Building on a heritage dating back to Radio Times' first edition in 1923, the titles remain synonymous with the highest quality journalism along with expertise in, and a passion for, their subject areas.

"We will retain a close link with the new owners following the transaction, which I believe offers the best prospects for the business in the future."

Notes to Editors

The agreement for Exponent Private Equity to acquire all non-BBC branded magazines in full along with rights to publish BBC branded titles under licensing and contract publishing arrangements was announced on 16 August 2011 following BBC Trust approval. Read the press release.

Further details of the new publishing company to be created following Exponent's acquisition of BBC magazine titles can be found on the Immediate Media website.

Charlotte Elston/Lucy Philippson

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