Liberty Global Increases ITV Stake to 9.9 Percent

Associated Press
Liberty Global chairman John Malone

John Malone's international cable company had first acquired a stake in the U.K. TV giant a year ago.

Liberty Global said Friday it has increased its stake in ITV from 6.4 percent to 9.9 percent.

John Malone's international cable company had first acquired a stake in the U.K. TV giant a year ago. Liberty Global said it does not plan to make an offer to fully acquire ITV, but left its options open for the future.

Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries said: “Given ITV's operating and stock price performance, we were able to increase our stake to 9.9% with no incremental investment by hedging our existing equity position. This investment remains an opportunistic one for us in our largest market. ITV is a well-run company with attractive growth potential, and we are pleased to increase our position as their largest shareholder.”

Liberum Capital Markets analyst Ian Whittaker said in a first reaction that Liberty Global's move "suggests it thinks a bid [from another party] may be coming at some point and it wants influence."

Twitter: @georgszalai

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