Hachette and National tipped to contend for BBC magazines

The BBC put parts of its £180m publishing business up for sale last week.

Hachette Filipacchi and National Magazine Company are considered by industry specialists to be among the top contenders for the BBC's £180m magazine business, which has been partly put up for sale, Media Week reports.

More than 30 media groups and publishing houses are known to have shown interest in the portfolio of 35 magazines after the BBC Trust last week approved the proposal for a long-term publishing partnership.

National Magazines, owned by the US-based Hearst Corporation, publishes a range of titles including Harper's Bazaar and Good Housekeeping, and BBC's portfolio, which includes Radio Times and Lonely Planet is likely to complement their offering, says the report.

Hachette Filipacchi, publisher of various popular magazines, including Elle, is also considered a top contender as it has - like National - the requisite experience and capital, according to specialists.

The BBC has stated that it would prefer a single publishing partner who is able to handle most of the business, rather than sign up a number of separate smaller partners, the report adds.