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Former BBC Worldwide chief Gavin forms takeover firm

LONDON - Rupert Gavin, former chief executive of BBC Worldwide, has formed an investment group called Kingdom Media, which could work with the BBC on joint ventures and pursue media takeover bids.

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According to a report in the Financial Times, Kingdom Media is being funded with seed capital supplied by Gavin, as well as partnerships with private capital groups.

The company is likely to bid for any assets that the BBC decides to sell off after the review of BBC Worldwide is complete. It could also form partnerships with the corporation.

The FT reports that Lazard, the investment bank, is advising Kingdom Media on funding for potential bids.

Gavin, who left BBC Worldwide in July this year, has long been rumoured to be one of those parties likely to bid for BBC Worldwide, the arm of the BBC that owns its commercial assets, including licensing rights to characters such as the Teletubbies, and BBC Magazines, including Radio Times.

However, it looks increasingly unlikely that the BBC will sell the whole of its commercial arm. At a meeting of managers last week, John Smith, chief operating officer of BBC Worldwide and the man overseeing the business review, said that some assets, including BBC America, could be retained.

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