Desmond sets a deadline for Channel 5 bids
RICHARD Desmond has stepped down from the board of Channel 5 Broadcasting Limited in a sign that the media boss may be preparing for a sale of the broadcaster.
An information memorandum has been sent to would-be buyers and City A.M. understands that a deadline of 27 February has been set for initial offers.
Last month reports that Barclays had been hired to look at a sale placed a target price for Channel 5 at around £700m, seven times the £103.5m paid by Desmond’s Northern & Shell in 2011.
Desmond also owns a number of media operations including the Daily Express, Daily Star and OK magazine.
“Regulatory and strategic considerations suggest that neither ITV nor the pay-TV platform operators, Sky and BT, are likely to emerge as serious bidders and that an overseas group from the US is the most likely outcome if a sale is to take place,” said Ender Analysis analyst Toby Syfret in a report last month
Syfret listed NBC, Turner Broadcasting, Discovery and Scripps as possible US suitors who could be looking to expand their European footprint.
Northern & Shell declined to comment.