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November 27, 2008

BBC wants permission to buy Woolworths’ DVD business

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by David Allen

The BBC is seeking permission to go ahead and buy the DVD publisher, 2entertain, which is part of the ailing Woolworths Empire, whose shares have now been suspended.

The BBC commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, is seeking around £100 million in order to buyout Woolworths from the partnership that they have in the DVD business.

This may seem to be a pushy deal for the BBC, but there is some sense in this move, as 2entertain are the publishers of many of the BBC programmes, such as Dr Who and many of the nature documentary shows too.

Woolworths own forty per cent of the business and BBC Worldwide are seeking a fast tracked approval from the BBC Trust in order to buy the shares before someone else does.

The problem is that the BBC Trust is not used to making such quick decisions and would normally want to assess and evaluate the deal.

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