Richard Desmond to sell Channel 5

channel 5The FT is reporting that Richard Desmond has asked advisers to work on a possible sale of Channel 5, Britain’s fifth terrestrial television network. Channel 5 was launched in March 1997 and acquired by Mr Desmond for £103.5m in 2010.

The FT quotes a person familiar with the process as saying that Mr Desmond would seek a price in excess of £700m, equivalent to 10 times the network’s expected earnings before interest and taxation this year.

The group returned to operating profits with £20.6m in the first half of 2013, compared with a £16.1m loss a year earlier, although viewing figures have remained steady. In November 2013, Channel 5 was the fifth most popular television channel in the UK with a 3.9 per cent share of the monthly average viewing figures according to the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB).

Potential buyers are said to include ITV and US network Turner Broadcasting.

UK, London

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