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BBC Sells String of Magazines to Exponent PE

The commercial arm of the British broadcaster BBC is selling a group of magazines to buyout shop Exponent Private Equity, Reuters reported. The deal is valued at 121 million pounds ($198 million). The sale is part of the BBC’s strategy to focus on video and digital services, Reuters said.

(Reuters) – The commercial arm of British public broadcaster BBC is to sell a string of magazines including the Radio Times to a private equity group as part of its strategy to focus on video and digital services.

The BBC announced the deal with Exponent Private Equity, along with other licensing agreements and other disposals, for a total sum 121 million pounds ($198 million) and said the majority of the proceeds would go back to the corporation.

The BBC, funded by a fee paid by all households with a television, is under pressure to cut costs as part of the government’s bid to slash spending.

Exponent’s current portfolio also includes a threatre group, a handbag supplier and the Trainline website. The first issue of the Radio Times was produced in 1923.

($1 = 0.610 British Pounds) (Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Dan Lalor)