Virgin Media Set To Sell UKTV Stake

Virgin Media is set to sell its 50 per cent share in UKTV after deciding that the TV content business is not a strategic investment for the company to make.

The company is seeking to raise £350 million for its stake in UKTV, owner of 10 TV channels including Dave, Gold, Alibi, Home, Good Food, Blighty, Eden, Watch and Yesterday. Virgin Media is looking to use the money from the sale to pay down its debts.

The Guardian reports that Virgin Media has asked UBS and Goldman Sachs to auction off its stake in the company.

UKTV was set up as a joint venture between Virgin Media and BBC Worldwide, the BBC's commercial arm, in 1997 and attracts around 36.5 million viewers each month.

BBC Worldwide is reported to have first refusal, but Channel 4 and BSkyB have both shown interest in buying UKTV in the past.

Virgin Media, two months ago, sold its television business to BSkyB for £160 million.