MCAG picks up playout and subtitling contracts from the BBC that are likely to bring in more than half a billion pounds over the next 10 years - after taking the opportunity to extend the BBC playout contract by three years. Macquarie has promised to make no forced redundancies within 12 months among the 1,000-strong staff and will match existing pensions and terms and conditions.
Last year, BBC-driven business was responsible for 91% of BBC Broadcast's£109m turn-over, a percentage which MCAG wants to reduce.
MCAG chief executive Michael Cook said: "Each of the markets [creative, playout and access services] is growing quite strongly. If you look at the playout business it has substantial potential for expansion."
Another industry boss told Broadcastthat£166m was too much for the BBC business, a claim rejected by Cook. "When you get into the business and get behind the revenue plans of the BBC then you can make a fair estimate of earnings," he said. "I know that at least three [bids] were all around the same mark."
Creative Broadcast Services - the bidding company formed by the consortium - also picks up BBC Broadcast's award-winning creative services division. Last week it performed strongly at
the Promax & BDA World Awards in New York, picking up 19 gold and 10 silver awards - around 5% of total awards. BBC promos for 1,000 Years of Historyand Convictionboth won two golds.
Macquarie Bank Group, which owns MCAG, manages a total of£36bn of assets globally. The NTL Broadcast business - recently renamed Arqiva - was bought by a different Macquarie fund last December for£1.27bn. It provides transmission, playout and tower site leasing and will be central in the continuing plans for digital switchover.
Cook claimed that there would be no special relationship between the two. "It's a completely separate listed company. Ours is a private equity fund and is managed by a different board," he said.