Published: 10.41 Europe/London, June 21, 2011
Bebo owners Criterion Capital Partners, a US a merchant banking and financial advisory firm, is reported to be close to acquiring the online TV service SeeSaw from Arqiva.
Criterion acquired the Bebo business, the youth-centric social media network, from AOL Inc a year ago. At the time, exact terms of the deal were not being disclosed by either party, but insiders believed the amount to be around $10 million (€7 million). AOL had acquired Bebo just two years previously for $850million.
According to UK press reports, Adam Levine, the US-based CEO of Criterion, is currently understood to be in the UK negotiating the final terms of the deal.
SeeSaw paid an estimated £8 million (€9.56 million) for the technology developed by Project Kangaroo that was broken up after the intervention of the Competition Commission broke up the BBC-ITV-Channel 4 venture.
The service launched in February 2010 with content from BBC Worldwide, Channel 4, Five, Shed Media and TalkbackThames. Its business model was a mix of advertising supported and subscription content.
Last May, Arqiva confirmed to Broadband TV News it was to close its online video portal SeeSaw following a strategic review.