Britain's Channel 5 owner exploring possible sale - FT

Thu Jan 2, 2014 4:38am IST

Richard Desmond smiles as he leaves after giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry at the High Court in London January 12, 2012. REUTERS/Olivia Harris/Files

Richard Desmond smiles as he leaves after giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry at the High Court in London January 12, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Olivia Harris/Files

REUTERS - The owner of Britain's free-to-air Channel 5 is exploring a possible sale of the TV broadcaster, the Financial Times reported, citing two people familiar with the situation.

Barclays is advising on options for the television network, while the sale is expected to raise about 700 million pounds, according to the newspaper.

Northern & Shell, which is owned by the British media baron Richard Desmond, bought Channel 5 in 2010 for 103.5 million pounds from the RTL group and has since turned the channel's fortunes around.

Channel 5 made a profit of 20.6 million pounds in the first half of 2013 up from a loss of 16.1 million a year earlier.

Northern & Shell also owns the Express group of newspapers, Daily Star and Daily Express, and other magazines including celebrity magazine OK!

"As a media group with a broad portfolio of assets, we are often the subject of speculation, but it remains our policy not to comment on these matters," Northern & Shell was quoted by FT as saying.

(Reporting by Tasim Zahid in Bangalore; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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