U.K. Free-to-air Broadcaster Channel 5 May Be Floated on Stock Market (Report)

U.K. Free--air Broadcaster Channel 5 May

Seven potential buyers remain in the auction for broadcaster

LONDON — British media mogul Richard Desmond is mulling a stock market flotation for his free-to-air TV broadcaster Channel 5, according to a news report.

Desmond is working with investment bank Goldman Sachs on the possible IPO, according to Sky News, citing sources.

In January, Desmond hired Barclays to look for buyers for the television network. He was aiming to raise about £700 million ($1.16 billion) through the sale, according to media speculation.

Sky News said that the sale had drawn interest from more than 20 potential buyers, including Discovery Communications, Scripps Networks, Viacom and Rupert Murdoch’s BSkyB, the owner of Sky News. Seven parties remained in the auction last week, it said.

Channel 5, which broadcasts “CSI” and “Big Brother,” was bought by Desmond’s Northern & Shell in 2010 for £103.5 million ($172 million). Channel 5 made a profit of £20.6 million ($34.3 million) in the first half of 2013, up from a loss of £16.1 million ($26.8 million) a year earlier.

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