Richard Desmond said to be lining up £700MN Channel 5 sale
Editor | 02-01-2014

The UKís fifth largest broadcaster, Channel 5, is said to be in play in a deal worth £700 million, respected financial news outlets in the country are reporting.

According to the Financial Times, the channelís owner, Northern & Shell proprietor Richard Desmond has asked advisers to work on a possible sale of the free-to-air offering, which also includes the popular Demand 5 catch-up TV service, which was acquired in 2010 for £103.5 million. Under Desmondís stewardship, Channel 5 has begun to make money and returned operating profits of £20.6 million in the first half of 2013, compared with a £16.1 million loss a year earlier.

The FT added that Northern & Shellís banker Barclays is advising the company on options for the television network, including a sale of the business early in the New Year. Yet it stressed that there was no guarantee that the sale would be pursued. However, the financial news outlet quoted Northern & Shell as saying: ďAs a media group with a broad portfolio of assets we are often the subject of speculation, but it remains our policy not to comment on these matters.Ē