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Bidders Queue Up for BBC Broadcast

The British Broadcasting Corp. continues to spin off its technology operations, outsourcing that end of the business to effectively become a client of the new owners.

Thomson/Technicolor and Ascent Media Group are among the bidders for the BBC’s Broadcast Division, which will be sold this September.

Late last year, the UK broadcaster sold its BBC Technology Division, which had handled IT and product development, to Siemens. Now, it is selling off its provider of channel management technologies and next-generation distribution technologies like video via broadband and mobile phones.

Others eyeing the Broadcast Division include Advent International, Apax Partners Worldwide LLP, Bank of Scotland Corporate, Barclays Private Equity, and The Carlyle Group.

Peter Phillips, director, business development, who is leading the sale for the BBC, says the BBC will shortly begin a rigorous evaluation of the 18 bidders, including assessing their effectiveness as long-term business partners of the BBC and their cultural fit, to produce a short list toward the end of May.