BBC Worldwide can acquire UKTV

BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the British public broadcaster, would be allowed to acquire the 50% stake in thematic channel operator UKTV that it does not currently own as part of a wide ranging review from its governing body. However, this is one of the few deals that it would be allowed to do following a ban on mergers and acquisitions.

The BBC Trust has said that there will be “an end to mergers and acquisitions unless there are exceptional circumstances” following its 18 month review of the corporation’s commercial activity. This comes after the controversy of BBC Worldwide’s acquisition of a stake in travel publisher Lonely Planet for £89m (€98.9m) in 2007 as well as numerous stakes in independent production companies in the UK, Canada, France and Australia.