According to reports triggered by the emergence of images showing confidential documents, the UK government is rekindling the idea of privatising Channel 4 in a £1 billion sell-off, a year after similar plans were vetoed by the Liberal Democrats.
The exposed document detailed plans to examine opportunities to privatise the public broadcaster, with backing from government ministers who had ‘agreed that work should proceed’.
The recipients of the document are reported to be the former Secretary of State of Culture Media and Sport, and current Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, and his successor at the DCMS, John Whittingdale (pictured).
The move follows a root and branch review of the BBC as part of the Charter renewal, and despite claims from the government from as recently as July that it had ‘”no plans” to privatise the channel.
The valuation of Channel 4 was based on the sale of Channel 5 in May 2014, which went for £450 million; investment bankers concluding that Channel 4’s audience share is more affluent, and almost double the volume.