GB News has finalised its investment to launch a boldly different 24-hour television and digital news service to bring more choice to British viewers.
The funding round, which was 50 per cent over-subscribed, is supported by Legatum and Sir Paul Marshall who join Discovery Inc. in backing the venture founded by veteran telecommunications executives Andrew Cole and Mark Schneider.
GB News will start hiring immediately to create more than 140 jobs including 120 journalists. It expects to reach 96% of British television households via Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, YouView and Freesat. It will also launch a suite of streaming, video-on-demand and audio services.
The channel’s co-lead investor, global media and entertainment company Discovery Inc. was first on board last year.
It is now joined by co-lead backer Legatum, an investment partnership that uses its ideas and capital to improve lives globally. It focuses on increasing individual freedom and responsibility, while providing a voice to forgotten and marginalised communities.
The channel’s third major investor is British businessman and philanthropist Sir Paul Marshall, who is investing in a personal capacity. Investment bank Panmure Gordon acted as sole financial adviser and placement agent to GB News on the transaction.
Chairman Andrew Neil, who will also host a prime-time programme on GB News, said he was hugely encouraged by the confidence investors had shown in the business.
“We’re thrilled to have such a broad range of high-calibre investors who share our belief that many British people are crying out for a news service that is more diverse and more representative of their values and concerns,” he said.
“GB News is a massive undertaking in a fiercely competitive market but we’re confident there’s an appetite for a fresh approach to news in Britain, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.”
Chief Executive Officer Angelos Frangopoulos said GB News was an opportunity to add vitally needed plurality to the UK media sector. “This is a significant investment in British journalism at a time when it’s needed most,” he said.
“GB News will be proudly independent and fearless in tackling the issues people care about, especially in communities outside London. We are now building a superb team who are as passionate as we are about shaking things up and really connecting with viewers.”
*** Ends ***
Released by: GB News Limited