Accenture, CSC (Computer Sciences Corporation) from the US and Siemens from Germany have been plucked from a provisional shortlist of eight companies for the right to buy the £250m a year company.
The purchase brings with it a 10-year £2bn contract with the BBC for IT services, the chance to develop and sell the Colledia production system and the job of helping to turn the BBC into a tapeless broadcaster.
The latest shortlist was finalized following a rigorous process as dictated by the EU, was made yesterday. The winning bidder - who is expected to pay somewhere in the region of £150m for the company - will be announced in the Autumn.
BBC chief technology officer John Varney said that all the bidders had all 'shown a cultural alignment with the BBC" which he said would be crucial once the sale is completed.
The move to procure a new technology contract followed an internal strategic review of the BBC's technology requirements. The review identified potential annual savings for the BBC of at least £20-£30m if its technology services were outsourced. The sale is subject to the approval of the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.
BBC Staff and the Unions are being kept fully informed during the process.