BBC seeks buyer for facilities biz

Sale expected to raise $300 million

The BBC greenlit the sale of its commercial facilities house, BBC Resources, on Wednesday in a move expected to raise around $300 million for the cash-strapped pubcaster.

It hopes to unload the unit, whose activities include outside broadcast, studios, post-production and costumes, by next March.

BBC Resources, which employs 1,300 staffers, is believed to be Blighty’s biggest facilities house. Its sale will follow that of BBC Broadcast and BBC Technology.

Annual sales at BBC Resources are around $250 million, most of which comes from the Beeb.

“We are committed to getting the best value for the BBC and license fee payers, while putting staff interests at the heart of the process,” said BBC Worldwide topper John Smith.

In a statement the pubcaster added: “The BBC believes that the combination of BBC Resources under new commercial ownership and a continued partnership with the BBC will mean the corporation can leverage its strong relationship and heritage with BBC Resources.

“A new owner will provide … further opportunities for growth, which are not available while it is owned by the BBC, balanced with the stability of ongoing contracts with the BBC.”

Unions at the pubcaster, in the throes of an economy drive causing much angst among some production staff, have previously expressed anxiety about the selloff.

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