Apax keen on SMG TV unit

The UK private equity firm is one of a number of interested parties pursuing the TV business of the British media group.

Apax Partners is one of a number of private equity firms showing an interest in buying the TV division of British media group SMG, according to a report in the Sunday Times.

Apax will be competing against trade buyers including Granada, which has already held talks with SMG, and a number of rival private equity firms to acquire the business, which is valued at around E550m. Carlton Communications has pulled out of the bidding following a disagreement over price.

SMG is looking to cut its debt pile, currently running at over E600m, through the sale of the division, which currently accounts for six per cent of ITV’s revenues.

Apax Partners has recently sought to develop its presence in the UK broadcasting sector. The firm was part of a recent unsuccessful consortium which bid for the digital terrestrial television licences vacated by ITV Digital following its collapse earlier this year.