March 17 British media baron Richard Desmond is
considering a stock market listing of free-to-air TV broadcaster
Channel 5, Sky News reported, citing sources.
Desmond is working with investment bankers from Goldman
Sachs on the possible floatation, Sky News said on its
website, adding that the bank had taken the idea of listing
Channel 5 to Desmond in recent weeks. (link.reuters.com/ban67v)
Media reports in January said Desmond had hired Barclays to
look for buyers for the television network and was expecting to
raise about 700 million pounds ($1.16 billion) through the sale.
Sky News said Barclays' concurrent sale had drawn interest
from more than 20 potential buyers, including Discovery
Communications, Scripps Networks, Viacom
and British Sky Broadcasting Group, the owner
of Sky News.
Citing banking sources, Sky News said seven parties remained
in the auction last week.
Channel 5, which broadcasts 'Big Brother', was bought by
Desmond's Northern & Shell media group in 2010 for 103.5 million
pounds and made a profit of 20.6 million pounds in the first
half of 2013, up from a loss of 16.1 million a year earlier.
Representatives at Northern & Shell, British Sky
Broadcasting, Discovery, Scripps and Viacom could not be reached
for comment outside of regular business hours.
($1 = 0.6014 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Richa Naidu in Bangalore; Editing by Stephen