ITV (LON:ITV) has entered the bidding for Endemol Shine, the company behind programmes such as Big Brother, The Fall, MasterChef and Peaky Blinders, The Sunday Times has reported. The $4-billion (£3-billion) Dutch company is being sold by the private equity firm Apollo and 21st Century Fox.
ITV’s share price closed marginally higher in the previous session, having added 0.35 percent to 159.80p, largely in line with gains in the broader market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index adding 22.47 points to close 0.31 percent higher at 7,304.04. The group’s shares have added about one percent to their value over the past year, as compared with a 0.12-percent rise in the Footsie.
ITV bids for Endemol
The Sunday Times revealed yesterday that ITV was understood to be among a number of parties in the running to buy Endemol Shine. The newspaper notes that the Dutch company is heavily indebted and made an operating loss of €21 million (£18.7 million) last year. It was dealt a further blow last week when Channel 5 said it would drop Big Brother after the current series.
Sources close to the auction told The Sunday Times that a frontrunner had not yet emerged. Other bidders reportedly include All3Media, backed by Liberty Global, which also owns a stake in ITV, and Banijay, the French production company backed by Vivendi.
Analysts on UK group
The 20 analysts offering 12-month price targets for ITV for the Financial Times have a median target of 195.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 275.00p and a low estimate of 110.00p. As of September 14, the consensus forecast amongst 20 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip group has it that the company will outperform the market.