Carlton courts suitors for subsid Technicolor

Analysts value company up to $255 bil

London’s Carlton Communications has formally put up for sale its subsidiary Technicolor, valued by analysts at up to £1.7 billion ($2.55 billion).

The world’s No. 1 film and video duplication firm, with annual revenues of $1.5 billion, Technicolor goes on the block just days after United News & Media’s sale of its U.S. publishing division (Daily Variety, May 10).

Both Carlton and UN&M are clearing the decks for a merger, announced last fall, that would produce Britain’s top ITV network player.

Proceeds from the Technicolor sale — thought likely to attract attention from Bertelsmann, Time Warner and Matsushita — will probably be plowed into the TV and Internet businesses.

But while Technicolor is moving into DVD production, some analysts worry that digital technologies spell a bleak future for its core businesses.

A sale by the Rank Group of competing video duplicator Deluxe is said to have been iced after bids proved inadequate.

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