ITV pulls back from All3Media acqusition

The Traitors

ITV has pulled back from a potential acquisition of All3Media.

The UK-based broadcaster, which is home to ITV Studios, told investors last month that it was “actively exploring” buying the company after reports emerged that current owners Liberty Global and Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) could be prepared to sell.

However, the broadcaster has now distanced itself from a potential deal for the GoggleboxTraitors and Fleabag firm, which had been valued at around £1.5bn ($1.97bn).

Jane Turton (Credit: RTS/Richard Kendal)

“ITV plc confirms it continues to monitor but is no longer actively exploring the possible acquisition of All3Media,” the company told investors this morning.

The company added, somewhat pointedly, that it “assesses all potential value-creating M&A opportunities against its strict financial criteria and disciplined capital allocation framework.”

All3’s next moves

The decision opens up the company to other interest, with groups such as Banijay and Fremantle understood to be interested, along with several private equity firms. WBD or Liberty Global could also choose to take full ownership, with both currently holding a 50% stake.

ITV emerged as the frontrunner to buy the company following news two months ago, with ITV subsequently confirming to its shareholder that it was “actively exploring” an acquisition, adding that there could be “no certainty” of a deal.

A deal with ITV would have brought further consolidation to John Malone’s Liberty, which already owns a 10% stake in ITV. It also owns a stake, and sits on the board, at WBD.

All3 is led by CEoO Jane Turton and owns more than 50 production labels around the world – ranging from Studio Lambert and Betty, to Neal Street Productions, Two Brothers Pictures and Objective Media. It hit record revenues of £866m in 2021.

The company, which also operates distribution arm All3Media International, was acquired by Liberty and Discovery in 2014 for around $930m. WBD, which acquired its stake after the WarnerMedia merger, is looking to raise cash following its creation last year, which left it with a $49bn debt pile.

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