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Sources cited by the publication claim that the U.K.’s largest commercial TV group had already held talks with the Canadian distributor about a potential sale, although no final decision had been made and the discussions might not result in a sale.
eOne has officially denied that it is in talks with ITV.
“No approach has been received by eOne,” the company said in a statement Thursday. An ITV spokeswoman on Thursday told The Hollywood Reporter the network wouldn’t comment on speculation regarding eOne.
Were the deal to go ahead, it would mark one of the most ambitious additions to ITV’s stable, which has been bolstered through a series of major acquisitions in the past couple of years. Last year, it bought The Voice creator Talpa for up to $1.17 billion and has picked up stakes in a succession of production houses in both the U.K. and the U.S. as it expands its ITV Studios arm, including Mammoth Screen, Monumental Television, Tourfour and DiGa Vision. When it bought Leftfield Entertainment in 2014, it became the biggest independent producer of unscripted TV in the U.S.
ITV was also eyeing The Weinstein Co.’s TV unit in a deal said to be worth up to $950 million but pulled out in May 2015.
Last week, the company boosted its scripted credentials by poaching BBC drama boss Polly Hill.
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