Apax Partners, the global private equity firm, has signed former BBC director general Greg Dyke to its media advisory board according to a report in today’s Financial Times.
Media is a favoured sector for Apax, with around 20 percent of investment so far from the firm’s €4.4 billion Apax Europe V fund going into media deals. The firm recently teamed up with fellow private equity house Candover in an unsuccessful bid for the Telegraph Group, which was ultimately acquired by the Barclay Brothers.
Dyke may find his advisory abilities put to the test, should Apax decide to bid for BBC Worldwide, the commercial sales and publishing arm of the BBC for which the corporation is understood to be examining potential bids.
The report drew attention to rumours that Apax was last year rumoured to be interested in a bid for broadcasters Carlton and Granada, the companies that were eventually merged to form ITV. Sir Peter Burt, chairman of ITV, earlier this year joined Apax as a senior adviser to its financial services team.
The media advisory board also includes Neil Blackley, a former Merrill Lynch media analyst, while Stephen Grabiner, a former managing director of the Telegraph Group, heads the media investment team.
Dyke resigned from the BBC in January 2004 after criticism of the corporation in the Hutton Report into the death of government scientist David Kelly, which concluded that it had been guilty of bad journalistic practice. Currently on a book tour, he has not yet confirmed his new role at Apax.
Apax is currently raising a European fund with a target of €4.5 billion. Last month, it announced the €2 billion buyout of VNU World Directories, the directory publisher, alongside Cinven.