British insurer Amlin said it was not looking to sell its business, shrugging off media speculation of the company in talks for a $5 billion sale. John Malone cable group Liberty owns a 9.9% stake in ITV, but a full takeover has been officially ruled out despite on-going market speculation.
The company expanded into the Republic at the beginning of the year with television channel UTV Ireland which has struggled to find an audience.
One analyst said a sale of the TV arm couth fetch a price tag of between £100m to £125m.
By Chris CookeITV plc is seemingly in talks to buy the TV assets of UTV Media, which controls the channel three franchise in Northern Ireland.
The company also has an Irish radio business, comprising Belfast-based station U105 and eight channels in the Republic.
A number of Britain’s best-known TV personalities began their careers on UTV, notably the Sky News anchor Eamonn Holmes who started in 1979 by hosting a programme on farming. “And therefore, we have been thinking for a little while that the company needed a solution to this problem”, Degroote said.
Big news coming from UTV this morning…
ITV, which hosts shows including The X Factor and Downton Abbey, has made several acquisitions in the past year as its boss Adam Crozier aims to build an worldwide producer of entertainment and drama television programmes.
Hat-tip to the Belfast Telegraph.
UTV is set to report its results on Friday when details of a deal could be unveiled. Goodbody stockbrokers is forecasting group revenue of £62m and an operating profit of £2.5m.
He added that UTV already has a close working relationship with ITV, since they share a lot of programming.