Liberty not seeking outright ITV purchase, says CFO

Charlie Bracken

Charlie Bracken

Liberty Global’s chief financial officer has poured cold water on suggestions that the cable giant could seek to buy out ITV, after it bought into the UK broadcaster last year.  

In an interview with the Financial Times, Charlie Bracken described ITV as “awfully pricey” as an outright acquisition target, adding: “we’re not going to invest billions of dollars in content – that’s not our game.”

Liberty Global bought a 6.4% stake in ITV for £481 million (€608 million) last July. The deal marked Liberty’s second major investment in the UK market following its US$23.3 billion (€17.2 billion) buyout of Virgin Media, which closed in June 2013.

Speaking at the CTAM Europe EuroSummit in Copenhagen in September, Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries said that Liberty bought into ITV “because we thought the company was undervalued.”

“We like that management team and that operation, [but it] doesn’t mean we’re going to go and buy the company,” said Fries at the time.

“It’s a very large business and it’s not what we’re planning today, but we like the strategic dialogue that we’re having with ITV. It’s our largest commercial broadcaster, they make television globally and they’re a great company.”

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