Wall Street Journal reports that John Malone’s international cable business Liberty Global Inc., has put its Chellomedia television channel business up for sale, in a move that could lead to a deal valued at between $800 million and $1 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. Liberty Global, based in Englewood, Colo., owns a collection of broadband networks in more than a dozen countries including Germany and Belgium. Chellomedia is Liberty Global’s content division, producing and distributing TV channels in a variety of genres including sports, movies and cooking.
The report adds that Liberty Global, whose chairman is Mr. Malone, about a month ago hired advisers to help arrange a deal and is in talks with a handful of suitors, according to one of the people. The business is expected to attract content providers and television networks. Wall Street Journal adds that it is possible the talks could lead to a partial or full sale, a joint venture or no deal at all, one of the people said. Should a deal be struck, it could come by the fall, this person added.
While it is unclear as to why Liberty Global is considering unloading the business. Chellomedia, however, accounts for a small portion of the company’s roughly USD$10 billion in annual revenue, which is derived mainly from cable-network operations. Chellomedia’s revenue last year was USD$514 million, from sales to Liberty Global operators as well as third parties.