Liberty Global’s Chellomedia group of channels have been on the sales forecourt since May, and Liberty’s CEO Mike Fries, while declining to comment on individual suitors for the Chellomedia business, has admitted that further consolidation in the European cable sector was “inevitable”.
It is widely believed that Scripps Networks is a leading bidder to acquire Chellomedia from Liberty. However, Scripps is but one of many potential bidders. Fries told journalists Friday that there were eight strategic buyers, and eight financial bidders.
Chellomedia’s assets include some 68 channels spread over 13 separate markets.
Two years ago, (August 2011) Scripps paid £340 million to acquire a 50 per cent stake in the ‘UKTV’ bouquet of mostly British channels owned by Virgin Media (now itself a Liberty Global asset).