Tuesday 10 December 2019

No break-up planned at ITV as Malone plugs in

John Malone
John Malone

The head of ITV says it is not planning a break-up after cable billionaire John Malone took a stake in the broadcaster.

ITV chief executive officer Adam Crozier said the UK's largest commercial broadcaster doesn't plan to sell parts of its business.

ITV declined to say whether the company as a whole is available for sale after Irish American billionaire John Malone's Liberty Global Plc bought a 6.4pc stake.

Liberty Global owns Irish cable TV and broadband provider UPC, and John Malone has recently bought up Irish assets including the Hilton and the Trinity Capital hotels in Dublin, and the luxurious Humewood Castle in Co Wicklow.

"We are certainly not considering selling off any parts of this business; we are very much in growth mode across the company," Crozier told reporters on a conference call.

"What Liberty's intentions are, are a matter for them."

Crozier said the only contact he's had with Liberty Global was a courtesy call from its chief executive Mike Fries the evening before the purchase announcement.


Liberty Global bought the ITV stake from Rupert Murdoch's British Sky Broadcasting Group for £481m (€607m), saying it didn't plan to make a full takeover bid for now.

ITV's shares have more than quadrupled in the past five years and the company has long been the subject of takeover speculation.

ITV's first-half revenue rose 7pc to £1.23bn (€1.55bn) led by a 20pc increase in revenue from pay-TV, internet and interactive offerings. The company's shares fell 0.7 pc to 203.5 pence early yesterday, giving the company a market value of about £8.2bn (€10.3bn). 

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