ITV ‘actively exploring’ deal to buy All3Media in potential $1.3bn acquisition


ITV has confirmed it is “actively exploring” an acquisition of All3Media, in a deal that could be valued in excess of £1bn ($1.3bn).

The UK broadcaster had been among firms rumoured to be in the market for the Gogglebox, Traitors and Fleabag firm, following news earlier this month that All3 owners Liberty Global and Warner Bros. Discovery were looking to sell the producer-distributor.

Following a Reuters report last night, ITV confirmed this morning to its shareholder that it is looking into an acquisition, but added that there could be “no certainty” of a deal.

Advanced stages & the Malone effect

Jane Turton (Credit: RTS/Richard Kendal)

Fremantle, Banijay and a handful of private equity firms were believed to be among other interested parties looking at All3, but TBI understands the ITV talks are now at an advanced stage.

A deal would make sense: John Malone’s Liberty already owns a 10% stake in ITV and also owns a stake, and sits on the board, at WBD. The US studio is also looking to raise cash following its creation last year, which left it with a $49bn debt pile.

All3 would also provide a considerable filip to UK broadcaster ITV, which has increasingly leaned on revenues from production arm ITV Studios to help buffer itself against the declining ad market.

Combining ITVS and All3 – which is led by CEO Jane Turton – would create a production group giant and could pose potential competition concerns in the UK, where both companies are already major players.

All3 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.

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