Viacom to buy Channel 5 for £450m

Thursday 01 May 2014 18.57
Richard Desmond sells his UK TV station Channel 5
Richard Desmond sells his UK TV station Channel 5

US media company Viacom said it will buy British free-to-air TV broadcaster Channel 5 from media baron Richard Desmond for £450m to expand in the UK. 

Viacom, which owns cable networks such as MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, said it would look to introduce more UK-created content to global audiences.

Viacom will finance the deal with existing cash and expects the acquisition to add to earnings immediately after closing.
              
Channel 5, which broadcasts "Big Brother," was bought by Desmond's Northern & Shell media group in 2010 for £103.5m. Desmond also owns the Daily Express and Daily Star newspapers. 

The sale had reportedly drawn interest from more than 20 potential buyers, including Viacom, Discovery Communications, Scripps Networks and BSkyB.

The station launched as the UK's fifth public service broadcaster in March 1997and has over 42 million viewers in the UK.