iNVEZZ.com, Wednesday, December 18: ITV Plc’s (LON:ITV) share price has been steady since last week when the UK’s biggest free-to-air commercial broadcaster sold its remaining stake in Scotland’s STV (LON:STVG).
Shares in the London-based company, which last month posted revenue growth across its channels in the nine months to end of September (ITV share price little changed as nine-month revenues rise), have declined 0.38 percent since December 10, when the group announced its STV exit.
ITV sold its remaining 6.79 percent stake in the Scottish broadcaster for £7.55 million on December 9. The sale marked the end of a shareholder relationship dating back to the 1990s.
The STV stake was inherited from former ITV subsidiary Granada, which bought into the Scottish broadcaster in 1999 at a time when it was eyeing up a possible takeover. Last week’s sale ended speculation that ITV could attempt a takeover of STV.
Cashing in on STV share price rise
According to an STV source, cited by the Guardian, ITV's sale was a "demonstration of the appreciation in STV's stock value". The source added that the Scottish media network had been looking to "actively diversify its shareholder base, and this provides a good opportunity to do that".
According to analysts, this reaction was typical after such a large number of shares were sold into the market and was not an indication that investors thought ITV may attempt a takeover of STV.
Ian Whittaker, an analyst at Liberum Capital, was quoted by the Scotsman newspaper as saying: “From a strategic stand point, ITV was not going to make a bid for STV… STV was languishing at about 150p but recently peaked at 325p, so ITV may have decided to cash in on the share price rise.”
An ITV spokesman confirmed: "We have held these shares for a number of years and decided that this was an appropriate time to take profit on our investment."
So far today, ITV’s shares have added 0.11 percent, while STV’s stock has gained 0.16
As of 12:40 UTC, buy ITV shares at 182.80p.
As of 12:40 UTC, sell ITV shares at 182.60p.
As of 12:40 UTC, buy STV shares at 310.00p.
As of 12:40 UTC, sell STV shares at 305.00p.
Prices can go up and down meaning you can get back less than you invest. This is not advice. Dealing services provided by Hargreaves Lansdown.