United Media up for sale?

Owner exploring 'strategic options' for licensing division, say reports.
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The EW Scripps Company is apparently considering a number of strategic options for its United Media licensing division.

Among the possible outcomes of the exploratory process are a sale or joint venture involving all or part of United Media Licensing.

Another option is to keep operating the business if the process leads management to believe that more long-term value can be created for the company shareholders by retaining it.

"Scripps is proud to have United Media Licensing in its portfolio, but the recent interest and activity in the market for character-based properties make this an appropriate time to determine if more long-term value will be created for our shareholders by continuing to operate the business or finding another alternative," stated Scripps' CEO Rich Boehne.

"We recognise that 'exploring strategic options' often is a euphemism for 'sale', but this truly is an exercise to determine if these properties would be more valuable with another owner. If not, we'll continue to nurture the characters as we have for decades."

Scripps reported its fourth quarter results (three months ending December 31st 2009) earlier this week, which showed revenues from the licensing and syndication businesses decreased 15 per cent to $26.4 million. The 2009 quarter was affected by lower apparel licensing, particularly in Europe, and lower syndicate and web revenue.

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