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15/08/2007

BBC Resources Limited Prepares For Sale

The BBC has announced that the process for the sale of its commercial subsidiary, BBC Resources Limited, has begun and an advertisement is to appear in the Financial Times, Times and UK trade magazine Broadcast on 16 August.
The sale is subject to the necessary approvals by the BBC's Executive Board and the BBC Trust.
BBC Resources is one of the UK's leading providers of 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.
The Corporation 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.
"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," said John Smith, Chief Executive, BBC Worldwide and BBC Board Sponsor for the sale.
Andrew Thornton, Project Director, BBC, who is leading the sale, commented: "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."
Mike Southgate, Chief Executive, BBC Resources, 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 has said that it recognises the importance of staff in the sale process and will fully consult with the unions and work closely with staff to achieve a smooth transition during the process.
(DS/SP)
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