Four bidders selected to enter next phase of
The BBC has announced today the shortlist of bidders
for the sale of BBC Broadcast Limited ("BBC Broadcast").
The sale is subject to the final approval of the BBC
Governors and Executive Board and the Secretary of State for Culture,
Media and Sport.
The four companies which have been selected to enter
the final stage are Apax Partners, Exponent
Private Equity, Macquarie Group and Thomson/Technicolor.
This follows an extensive evaluation of bids from both
financial and industry buyers.
The BBC will now enter into detailed negotiations with
the four companies to determine the right partner for the BBC in delivering
future services, whilst also offering the best possible opportunities
for BBC Broadcast staff.
John Smith, BBC Chief Operating Officer and Executive
Board project sponsor, commented: "These shortlisted companies have
not only demonstrated an appreciation of the value of BBC Broadcast,
but also impressed us with their future growth plans and how they will
work in partnership with the BBC in the coming years."
Peter Phillips, Director, Business Development, who
is leading the sale for the BBC, continued: "We have had serious interest
from a wide range of private equity and trade buyers.
"The high standard of world-class creative, operational
and technical services offered by BBC Broadcast, coupled with a talented
management team, makes this a very attractive acquisition.
"We have continued support and commitment from BBC
Broadcast's board and are on track to complete the sale by the end of
the summer, subject to approvals.
"We are in regular dialogue
with the Unions and have been consulting with them since the sale commenced
at the beginning of the year."
BBC Broadcast is Europe's leading expert in the distribution
and promotion of multimedia content and it offers a comprehensive range
of services to playout, publish, promote and provide media access for
content across all media, from television to mobile phones.
The sale follows on from the Corporation's internal
review of its commercial businesses. The review team concluded that,
whilst the services provided by BBC Broadcast are vital to the BBC,
they did not necessarily need to remain owned by the BBC.
The BBC believes that the combination of a new commercial
owner and a partnership approach with that new owner will mean that
the BBC can continue the strong relationship it has built up with BBC
A new owner will provide the business with opportunities
for growth which are not available whilst it is owned by the BBC, but
with the stability of an on-going contract in place with the BBC.
About BBC Broadcast Limited
Specialists in the delivery and promotion of digital
media, BBC Broadcast offers the complete range of services required
to promote, playout and provide access to broadcast content across all
media, from television to mobile phones.
Key services include: promotions; design & branded content;
navigation services (electronic programme guides); access services (subtitling,
signing and audio description); content playout ('video-on-demand' -
video via broadband and mobile phones); and interactivity.
BBC Broadcast's channel management business broadcasts
61 streams, including public service and commercial channels and interactive
streams, from the Broadcast Centre in West London.
It is also growing its business overseas and is already
providing creative services to clients in Europe, the USA and Asia.
BBC Broadcast's fusion of creative origination and technical
innovation, and its unique abilities in managing digital assets, mean
that it is ideally placed to capitalise on the growing need for digital
media distribution and promotion.