Liberty Global buys BSkyB's stake in ITV for 481MN

Editor | 17 July 2014

US media giant Liberty Global's investment spree continues with the news that it has acquired from BSkyB its 259.8 million shares in ITV in a deal valued at 481 million.

With the shareholding, Liberty Global now owns approximately 6.4% of the UK's leading independent broadcaster in addition to full ownership of UK cableco Virgin Media. It stressed that it did not intend to make a similar move with ITV. "This is an opportunistic and attractive investment for us in our largest cable market," commented Liberty chief executive officer Mike Fries. "ITV is the leading commercial broadcaster in the UK and we're excited to be shareholders."

To avoid any regulatory approvals that may delay the deal, Liberty says that it intends to finance the share acquisition through a combination of a loan linked to a hedging transaction that would be secured by ITV shares and existing liquidity.

For its part it is thought that the UK pay-TV leader will use the funds to further develop its plans to acquire 21st Century Fox's interests in Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia.