BBC Worldwide has rejected reports that its joint venture with Woolworths, DVD publisher 2 Entertain, is about to go into administration.
The commercial arm of the BBC said that claims made in The Times that it is in talks with Woolworths’ lenders GMAC and Burdale are “absolutely not true”.
Instead, it is continuing talks on a possible sale “solely” with the board of Woolworths Group, which is not in administration.
BBC Worldwide’s corporate affairs director Jennie Allen told Retail Week: “This is speculation without foundation. 2 Entertain is a highly profitable business which is trading very well.”
She added: “We are aware that EUK is in administration, and have contingency plans in place should any of its supply chain be disrupted.”
Woolworths, which owns 40 per cent of 2 Entertain, has been in talks for months with BBC Worldwide about a possible sale of its share in the business, originally thought to be worth around£100 million.
On its discussions to acquire Woolworths' 40 per cent stake, Allen said BBC Worldwide said it is “still very hopeful of reaching a conclusion”.
Allen also said that while BBC Worldwide sympathises with the situation, it is not responsible for Woolworths’ pension liability.
Allen declined to comment on whether BBC Worldwide was revaluing 2 Entertain after the administration of Woolworth’s retail arm and its distribution business EUK last week, but said: “It is the responsibility of BBC Worldwide to ensure that whatever deals it strikes are good deals from the license fee payers’ point of view.”