ITV valued at £5.2bn amid fresh speculation it has become a prized target for predators
Takeover fever in the entertainment industry has sparked fresh speculation that UK broadcaster ITV could be snapped up.
The FTSE 250 firm is seen as an attractive target because of its prized production arm and big television market share.
It is valued at about £5.2billion. Analysts have previously suggested that number one shareholder Liberty Global could be a buyer.
Takeover talk: ITV is seen as an attractive target because of its prized production arm and big television market share
ITV has sought to wean itself off relying on advertising revenue by bolstering its production arm, which makes hit shows for customers such as the BBC and Netflix.
And it entered the global video streaming market with its Britbox service, a venture with the BBC, Channel 4 and Channel 5, focused on British TV and films.
Neil Wilson, chief analyst at Markets, said: ‘ITV is a perennial favourite among those talking about which FTSE company might be next for a takeover.
‘The consolidation blitz in the US media space this week may have tongues wagging again.
‘The reason… is really all about long-term structural shifts in the TV and media space – by which we really mean cord cutting and the shift away from traditional scheduled TV to over-the-the top services like Netflix and Disney+.
‘ITV has bolstered its defences by weaning itself off cyclical ad spend, which took a hit during the pandemic and is bouncing back, by building a strong studios division making good quality content.
That could be something that makes it appealing in this phase of content consolidation.
‘And ITV remains a prized UK asset, offering lucrative entry into the UK market for a foreign media owner. We saw the premium that Sky commanded. ITV is not at the level but one day a bid has to come in.’
Shares in ITV rose 2.1 per cent, or 2.65p, to 129.05p yesterday.