Progress in the buyout of BBC Magazines portfolio

Bidding for the BBC Worldwide’s magazine division narrows.

The German publisher Bauer has been named as the most likely company to take over BBC Magazines.

BBC Magazines, which is a subsidiary of BBC Worldwide, is responsible for a portfolio of 34 titles including popular magazines Radio Times and Gardeners' World.

The search began in September 2010 after permission was given by the BBC Trust.

It is intended that a partner be located who would be prepared to buy, licence or purchase a majority stake in the magazine portfolio.

The sale is being arranged by professional services firm KPMG and it is anticipated that the sale will be completed by summer 2011.

Several other companies have been linked with the sale, but possible buyers including Haymarket Media Group, have stated that they will not be bidding for the magazines.

BBC Worldwide is seeking a buyer for all 34 titles, avoiding buyers selecting only particular titles.