Liberty Global ups its stake in ITV ‘to fend off bids’Comments Off on Liberty Global ups its stake in ITV ‘to fend off bids’
The acquisition by the world’s largest international cable company comes a year after it bought an initial 6.4% stake in ITV.
It makes Liberty the largest shareholder in the broadcaster of shows such as The Only Way Is Essex. The extra stake has a value of around £380 million at market price.
Liberty said it was an “opportunistic” investment. It is also in talks with Vodafone over asset swaps.
Ian Whittaker, analyst at Liberum, believes the increase could be a move to deter rivals from making a bid for ITV, which this week posted a 25% pre-tax profit rise.
He said: “Liberty has stated it does not intend to make a bid for ITV but its move suggests that it thinks a move by another player is likely or, at least, an increasing possibility.”
The shares rose 5p to 277p.