The sale between BBC Worldwide, which will maintain a minority shareholding in BBC Books, and The Random House Group involved a series of complex and interlocking agreements which will enable the BBC Books business to continue to access the book rights to various BBC television programmes. BBC Worldwide will continue to take an active role in the business by licensing the book publishing rights of relevant BBC programmes and ensuring the BBC brand is protected.
Olswang is a long term adviser to BBC Worldwide and is recognised as the leading TMT law firm in the UK in the recent Guide to the World's Leading Technology, Media and Telecommunication Lawyers. The firm has a broad publishing capability, advising many of the leading names in the book, newspaper and magazine worlds on all aspects of major corporate deals through to pre-publication clearance work, negotiating commercial contracts and representing clients in contractual and intellectual property disputes and defamation advice.
Broadcasting partner at Olswang, Selina Potter, said, “This deal is yet another example of the complex, rights based transactions that Olswang has undertaken for BBC Worldwide. The firm was well equipped to advise the company across all aspects of this transaction and we look forward to continuing our successful working relationship with BBC Worldwide.”
Over the past two years, Olswang has advised BBC Worldwide on a number of major strategic partnerships, which combine access to the BBC's world-class programme rights with the management, sales and distribution expertise of its partners. Such partnerships include 2Entertain, its DVD joint venture with VCI (part of Woolworths), Children’s Character Books Limited, its children's books publishing vehicle with Penguin Books and Educational Publishers LLP which is a cross-media business with Pearson Education in the learning sector. All these arrangements have required the extraction of complex businesses from BBC Worldwide and involved the careful treatment of the multifarious underlying rights.
Partners Selina Potter (commercial/media) and Simon Morgan (corporate) led the Olswang team, assisted by Mark Joscelyne in tax, Julia Palca in employment and solicitors Paul Guite in corporate, Michael Landau in media and Bob Cordran in employment.
Fladgate Fielder advised The Random House Group.