UPDATE: The BBC’s business editor Robert Peston is reporting that Woolworths will tonight go into administration and bring in Deloitte to manage the break-up of the business. Entertainment UK will also go into administration, meaning it could be sold off or broken up, depending on what the best deal might be for creditors. However, all this doesn’t mean that BBCWW’s offer to buy Woolies’ 40 percent stake in 2 Entertain is under threat — that stake owned by Woolies’ parent company, which will not go into administration. Woolworth’s board are meeting in London right now at 6pm to rubber-stamp the administration arrangement.
Original: BBC Worldwide is in talks to buy struggling Woolworths out of the pair’s 2 Entertain DVD distribution joint venture, and FT.com says the deal is already sealed for £100 million. But the retailer’s bosses are keen on keeping hold of its music and films wholesaler Entertainment UK (E.UK) which says it makes a tidy £1.5 billion annual turnover through supplying digital music downloads to e-tailers and pub jukeboxes, as well as physical goods. E.UK built Woolies’ download store, which was re-launched as Woolworths Download in May when the retailer decided to stop selling physical CD singles.
BBCWW already has a 60 percent stake in the 2 Entertain, which distributes BBC shows like Little Britain on DVD, but is reported to want full control now that ailing Woolies looks set to be broken up, with the rest expected to go to retail restructurer Hilco. 2 Entertain is made up of three businesses with a combined annual turnover of nearly £240 million, so it