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ITV Confirms It’s ‘Actively Exploring’ All3Media Acquisition



U.K. broadcaster ITV has confirmed that it’s “actively exploring the possible acquisition” of “Fleabag” and “The Traitors” producer All3Media.

In a letter to shareholders on Friday morning local time, the “Love Island” broadcaster confirmed media speculation about its talks to buy All3Media, which was first reported by Reuters.

“There can be no certainty as to whether any transaction will take place, nor as to the terms of any such transaction,” reads the letter. “A further announcement will be made if and when appropriate.”

Citing sources close to the deal, Reuters reported on Thursday that ITV is looking to combine All3Media with its own in-house production and distribution business ITV Studios, which itself has been the subject of sales speculation in the last year. (ITV CEO Carolyn McCall told Variety earlier this year, however, that the studios operation “is not for sale.”)

London-headquartered TV producer All3Media is responsible for shows including “Gogglebox,” “Call the Midwife” and Jamie Dornan-led drama “The Tourist.” The company has been put on the sales block by owners Liberty Global and Warner Bros. Discovery, with JP Morgan overseeing a deal.

A potential deal could see Warner Bros. Discovery sell its stake in All3Media in order to lessen its debt. Liberty Global could also keep its stake in the merged All3Media-ITV Studios outfit. Alternatively, ITV could buy out both owners.

If it goes ahead, the sale could generate more than £1 billion ($1.2 billion).

Liberty Global and Discovery acquired All3Media in 2014 for £550 million ($686 million). Formed in 2003 and currently led by CEO Jane Turton, the producer has expanded from 20 labels to 50 across six countries and three continents, including the U.S., U.K. and New Zealand. Among them are Sam Mendes’ production company Neal Street, Studio Lambert and Lime Pictures. Last year, it invested in sports production outfit 3 Rock.

Liberty Global has a 9.9% stake in ITV, valued at £280 million.

Earlier this week, ITV boss McCall appeared before a U.K. parliamentary inquiry on the working culture and duty of care at the broadcaster following the controversy around “This Morning” host Phillip Schofield and his time on the long-running daytime show. Schofield departed the popular morning show under a cloud last month and later admitted to having an affair with a young ITV staffer while he was still married.


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