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Future of British Business

U.K. to Sweeten Channel 4 Deal, Faces Hurdles for Rapid Sale

  • Planned privatization of Channel 4 unlikely to be quick
  • TV asset could be allowed to increase its borrowing, keep IP
The headquarters of the Channel Four Television Corp. in London, U.K.

The headquarters of the Channel Four Television Corp. in London, U.K.

Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

The U.K.’s planned privatization of Channel Four Television Corp. is unlikely to be quick sale, and faces political and competition hurdles amid a pullback in investor demand for television assets.

The government is considering changes which would make Channel 4 -- whose privatization was disclosed to management on Monday -- more appealing to investors. The company could be allowed to raise capital and increase its borrowing under a new owner, as well as produce and keep the rights to its own shows, something it’s not currently permitted to do, according to a person familiar with the sale process.