Investment banker UBS has been hired by Virgin Media to assist with the sale of its television channels business.
Virgin Media Television (VMTV) is valued at £500 million and was previously known as Flextech Television. Its assets include the 50% share in UKTV, valued at £350 million, and on which partner BBC Worldwide has the right of first refusal. Channels under the UKTV umbrella include the recently rebranded GOLD, Alibi, Yesterday and Dave. Virgin’s own portfolio includes Challenge, Living, Bravo, and Virgin 1, which has returned to virtual anonymity following its rebrand from FTN.
The much-anticipated move, forced by the cablenet’s £6 billion debt, would spell an end to UK cable’s 25-year ambition to be a major player in the delivery of content.
Earlier this week, the division’s MD Malcolm Wall left the company after three years, heightening sale speculation.