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All3Media calls off sale

Majority shareholder Permira fails to get asking price for Midsomer Murders producer

The “for sale” signs have been taken down at All3Media, after the majority owner of the Midsomer Murders producer failed to the get the price it was seeking.

The independent production company’s majority shareholder, private equity house Permira, has pulled the sales process after bidders failed to meet price expectations, according to reports.

It comes nearly six months after the producer appointed investment bank UBS to look at options including a £750m-plus sale.

All3Media, which also makes Skins and Shameless, is the UK’s largest independent producer. It was understood to have attracted interest from companies including American Idol’s owner Apollo and Sony Pictures Television.

Permira sought a target price of more than £750m, based on 12 times forecast earnings for 2011, the same multiple that Elisabeth Murdoch got for Shine from her father Rupert’s company News Corporation.

Early expressions of interest fell well below that, with observers suggesting that eight times earnings was a more realistic figure. ITV was among the potential suitors reported to have balked at the asking price.

A spokesman for All3Media was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.

UBS also worked with Permira when it bought into All3Media in 2006 in a deal valuing the company at about £320m.

All3Media was formed by chief executive Steve Morrison and his former ITV colleagues, David Liddiment and Jules Burns, in 2003 when they bought Chrysalis’s TV business for £45m.

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