Television

BBC kicks off sale process for BBC Resources

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MUMBAI: UK pubcaster The BBC has announced today that the process for the sale of its commercial subsidiary, BBC Resources has begun and an advertisement is to appear in the Financial Times, Times and UK trade magazine Broadcast on Thursday, 16 August. The sale is subject to the necessary approvals by the BBC's Executive Board and the BBC Trust.

BBC Resources provides broadcast production facilities and services, and consists of three divisions: BBC Outside Broadcasts, BBC Studios and BBC Post Production.

The sale comes as a result of the Commercial Review whereby the Corporation reviewed all its commercial businesses. The Commercial Review team concluded that the BBC should only own commercial businesses that either export or exploit the BBC brand or content; whilst the services provided by BBC Resources are vital to the BBC, they do not need to be owned by the BBC anymore.

The BBC has already sold BBC Broadcast to Macquarie. The BBC believes that the combination of BBC Resources under new commercial ownership and a continued partnership with the BBC will mean the Corporation can leverage its strong relationship and heritage with BBC Resources.

A new owner will provide the profitable and cash generative business with further opportunities for growth, which are not available whilst it is owned by the BBC, balanced with the stability of ongoing contracts with the BBC.

BBC Worldwide CEO John Smith says, "We are committed to getting the best value for the BBC and licence fee payers, whilst putting staff interests at the heart of the process."

BBC project director Andrew Thornton who is leading the sale says, "This is a unique opportunity for any potential bidder; it's not everyday such a treasure trove of outstanding expertise and skills comes on the market. We are looking for a partner that will nurture this and continue to work closely with us to provide the unrivalled quality of services we need, as well as to capitalise on this in the wider industry."

BBC Resources CEO Mike Southgate said, "BBC Resources is full of talent, with a world-class reputation for understanding production values and programme making, both at the BBC and across the media marketplace. Taking our BBC heritage, the sale offers us the chance to grow the business and continue to lead the rapid changes taking place."

It is expected that the sale of the business and transfer of BBC Resources staff to the successful bidder will take place by the end of March 2008, subject to contract negotiations and approvals.

The BBC recognises the importance of staff in the sale process and says that it will fully consult with the Unions and work closely with staff to achieve a smooth transition during this process.

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