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16 August 2011

Exponent Private Equity to acquire BBC Magazines

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Exponent Private Equity ("Exponent") today announces the acquisition and licensing agreement for the publication of titles currently published by BBC Magazines, from BBC Worldwide (“BBCW”)

BBC Magazines is the third largest consumer magazine business by Retail Sales Value in the UK. Under the terms of the deal Exponent will acquire, in full, Radio Times and a number of magazines less closely aligned to the BBC, as well as the rights to publish BBC-branded titles under licensing and contract arrangements. Exponent is also to acquire specialist publisher Origin Publishing (“Origin”), in which BBC Magazines currently holds a minority stake.

Completion is expected to take place in the autumn, following clearance from the Office of Fair Trading.

Richard Lenane of Exponent, said: “We are delighted to have signed an agreement with BBC Worldwide for its magazines business, pending OFT approval. Exponent invests exclusively in market-leading businesses which have strong growth potential and great people. We believe that BBC Magazines is such a business.

“We look forward to working with the BBC Magazines team and in partnership with BBC Worldwide to continue to develop the BBC magazine franchise and to take advantage of the growth opportunities afforded to the business outside BBC Worldwide ownership.”

Commenting on the deal with Exponent, John Smith, CEO of BBC Worldwide, said: “BBC Magazines is a world-class magazines business, with an incredible depth of talent across editorial, publishing, marketing and commercial. It continually provides readers with the highest quality content, has launched successful new titles in the UK and overseas, and has strongly outperformed the UK market in recent years.”