The global entertainment giant AEG is putting London's river-bus taxi service up for sale following a year in which its services have been heavily disrupted by the pandemic.
Sky News has learnt that AEG is working with advisers on the sale of Thames Clippers, 15 years after it bought a controlling stake in the business.
Prospective bidders have begun being sounded out about their interest in acquiring it, according to market sources.
The value of the business was unclear on Thursday, as were the reasons for AEG deciding to put it on the market now.
One insider said the company had decided that Thames Clippers was not core to its operations.
Its fleet of boats operates from the O2, the entertainment arena in south-east London which has been run by AEG since 2007.
The service is now sponsored by Uber Technologies, the ride-hailing app.
It was set up by Sean Collins and Alan Woods, two entrepreneurs, in 1999, with the former captaining its maiden service from Surrey Quays to Savoy Pier.
Initially serving just 80 passengers each day, Thames Clippers carried four million customers in 2019.
The service is due to resume later this month, having been forced to close for much of the past 12 months.
An AEG spokeswoman said the company did not comment on rumour or speculation, and declined to answer questions about the sale process.