Portland TV seeks buyer

Richard Desmond, owner of the UK's Daily Express newspaper, has confirmed plans to sell a majority stake in his adult television business, assumed to be a prelude to an IPO of the newspaper business.

The plans for a placing of shares in Portland Television, which is responsible for pay TV channels ranging from Red Hot-branded adult programming to the Express Shopping network, emerged in copmany filings. The group was “reviewing its strategic options” in television and pursuing the option of an Aim listing of a new holding company after operating profit margins in production and broadcasting were hit by increased competition from free-to-air adult channels.

The broadcasting activities yielded operating profits of £11.4m (E16.6m) from turnover of £31.6m in the year to December 2006, down from £12.7m profits on sales of £34.1m a year earlier.

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