BBC Worldwide's 2Entertain takeover stalls

Deal partner Woolworths suspends trading Wednesday

LONDON -- BBC Worldwide's 100 million pound ($153 million) bid for the 40% of DVD business 2Entertain it doesn't already own hangs in the balance without the the seal of approval from the BBC's oversight committee, the BBC Trust, it emerged Wednesday.

BBC Worldwide is understood to have agreed "in principle" to take full ownership of the joint venture, which publishes DVDs including "Doctor Who" and "Blue Planet," according to the Financial Times.

The fast-moving negotiations have been given impetus by the fact that retail outlet Woolworths, the BBC partner in the joint venture, suspended share trading Wednesday on fears that it cannot meet its salary and supplier payments.

Sources close to the discussions say BBC Worldwide has yet to submit a proposal to the BBC Trust, but would need permission for any acquisition greater than $76.5 million.
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