Leading employer in Peterborough is put up for sale
Hundreds of employees at Peterborough's Ideal Shopping Direct are facing an uncertain time after the company was put up for sale.
The TV shopping channel, based in Newark Road, where it employs about 500 people, is being sold by US-based private equity funds manager Blackstone three years after buying the company.
A spokesman for Blackstone confirmed the company was for sale and it was talking to potential buyers.
He said: "Following a review of their portfolio priorities, and a number of approaches, Blackstone have decided to run a formal process to seek expressions of interest for Ideal Shopping Direct Ltd."
He also confirmed that Ideal Shopping Direct's chief executive Mike Hancox, who has been with the company since 2008, had left recently but refused to give any reasons for his departure.
Ideal Shopping Direct comprises Ideal World, Create and Craft, Craft Channel Productions, Ideal Sourcing and Deramores, selling on-line and through broadcast TV on Freeview channels 22 and 23, Freesat, Sky and Virgin in the UK and the DISH satellite network in the USA.
Ideal Shopping Direct was bought by Blackstone after it had been put on the market by former owner private equity company Inflexion, which had priced it at £200 million. Blackstone has always refused to say how much it spent on the purchase.
Inflexion with a management team led by Mr Hancox had bought Ideal Shopping Direct for £78.3 million in 2011 following a series of profit warnings.
In 2014, the company's premises were sold to a national investment management company for £5.3 million.