Already the largest shareholder in the commercial broadcaster, the Virgin Media owner now speaks for approximately 9.9% of shares. It’s been financed through a hedging transaction, which combined with amending an existing hedging transaction with respect to ITV shares, will result in net cash being released to Liberty Global.
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.”
Liberty Global acquired its initial 6.4% stake in ITV in July 2014 at a cost of £481 million, purchasing the remaining holding in the company by BSkyB.
Given the level of investment no regulatory approval is required.