Brexit fallout increases chance of a bid for ITV

Decline in sterling against the dollar makes owner of UTV more attractive target

Some £2.5 billion has been wiped off the value of ITV since the Leave vote in the UK’s referendum on membership of the European Union. Photograph: PA

Some £2.5 billion has been wiped off the value of ITV since the Leave vote in the UK’s referendum on membership of the European Union. Photograph: PA

 

There may be interesting times ahead for ITV plc, the owner of the television channels UTV and UTV Ireland, as a plunge in its share price and the value of sterling make it a more attractive target for takeover bids.

Some £2.5 billion has been wiped off the value of ITV since the Leave vote in the UK’s referendum on membership of the European Union.

The media group’s share price plunged more than 20 per cent last Friday, with a further 11.7 per cent decline on Monday, at which point it was trading down 42 per cent year- on-year. The stock began to recover on Tuesday.

Analysts at London equities brokerage Liberum has noted that the decline in sterling against the dollar has heightened the chances that a US media giant, or even a US new media/technology company could bid for ITV.

Virgin Media owner Liberty Global has been linked to ITV as a possible buyer on the basis that it holds a 9.9 per cent stake in the company, while last December Comcast, the owner of NBC-Universal, denied it was holding talks with ITV about a takeover.