The BBC has selected Siemens Business Services as the preferred bidder for an eagerly awaited £2bn IT services contract.
Siemens is aiming to take on the 10-year contract this autumn subject to final negotiations.
The contract, one of the most high-profile outsourcing deals this decade, includes the supply of IT to the BBC and the sale of BBC Technology, a division which supplies IT services to the BBC and other media organisations.
Siemens has beaten consultancy Accenture to the contract from an original shortlist of eight.
The sale is subject to the approval of the BBC Governors, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and clearance by the European Commission under the terms of the EC Merger Regulation.
In a statement the BBC said Siemens had demonstrated its ability and commitment to invest in technology services and innovation to meet the BBC’s future technology requirements, with significant projected annual cost savings.
But the deal is likely to face opposition from unions representing IT staff. Bectu union has told the BBC that it plans to ballot members at BBC Technology about taking industrial action over the sale.
The BBC said has been consulting with Bectu since November last year and will continue to consult during this last phase of the process.