Woolworths’ administrator Deloitte and BBC Worldwide are expected to face each other in court today over the value of the latter’s joint venture with the defunct variety store group.
BBC Worldwide argues that the property rights arrangement affecting the 2Entertain business lapsed when Woolworths collapsed last November so a valuation must be made on the basis that the rights – to manufacture and distribute DVDs carrying BBC material – are not available to anyone other then the BBC.
The implication is that the stake would have little value for anyone else because they would not be able to exploit the rights, the Financial Times reported.
However, Deloitte and Woolworths’ creditors believe they should be able to sell the rights.
It is understood that there is no proposal at present to sell the rights, but the case is being heard in order to get a judge’s interpretation of how the value can be calculated.
The case is significant in the context of the Government’s white paper on “digital Britain”, which is expected to be issued next week. It is expected to include a plan to plug a funding gap in the finances of Channel 4 by the formation of a joint venture between that broadcaster and BBC Worldwide.