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U.K. TV giant ITV will not return to its headquarters on London’s South Bank, but will instead put it up for sale.
The company previously unveiled a five-year redevelopment of the site just south of the river Thames and last year moved its operations into office space in London’s Holborn area, with a nearby production location.
“Since the original decision to redevelop the South Bank site, ITV has launched its new strategy and has successfully moved to new office space in Holborn and studios,” the company said Tuesday. “These provide excellent modern, functional and flexible working environments.”
It added: “ITV needs to ensure that its property portfolio in London supports the new strategy by giving flexibility to continue to grow, while supporting our ambition to be an agile and increasingly digital organization. By remaining in our current London office and studio spaces, we can focus more time and resources on the areas of the business which will deliver greatest value.”
ITV CEO Carolyn McCall has been leading the company since the start of the year and in July unveiled a strategy refresh under the theme “More Than TV,” focused on three key areas. Those are “strengthening the integrated producer broadcaster [business model of operating networks and the ITV Studios TV production business], growing U.K. and global production, and creating a scaled direct-to-consumer business.”
ITV didn’t detail the financial impact of the real estate decision, such as how much it expects to get for the South Bank space. It is leasing its current space and had bought the South Bank headquarters five years ago for £56 million, or $73 million.
“A very rough initial calculation suggests ITV may be able to sell the site for (about) £245 million ($319 million),” Liberum Capital Markets analyst Ian Whittaker said, adding that this would raise “cash that it may use for investment, M&A and/or shareholder returns.”
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