The BBC’s commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, has won a court case against Woolworths’ administrator Deloitte over the value of joint venture 2entertain.
The High Court dispute centred on whether a licensing agreement between BBC Worldwide and 2entertain ended when Woolworths collapsed and on BBC Worldwide’s right to buy Woolworths’ stake in 2entertain, the Financial Times reported. An appeal bt Deloitte is now likely.
Before Woolworths’ plunge into administration, BBC Worldwide had been prepared to pay £100m for the variety store group’s stake in 2entertain.
BBC Worldwide argues that a licensing agreement allowing 2entertain to distribute and manufacture DVDs containing BBC material lapsed after Woolies’ demise last November.
That would mean the stake is worth little to anybody other than the BBC, because they would not be able to exploit the rights to the bradcaster’s material.
BBCW also argues that the stake formerly held by Woolies has plummeted in value since the retailer’s administration.
It is understood that Deloitte is likely to appeal against the decision. The administrator and creditors of the Woolworths estate argue there was no lapse in licensing agreement and that they should be able to sell the rights.
It is understood that they do not intend to sell the rights to any party other than the BBC but are seeking a legal interpretation of how the value of the stake should be calculated.