ITV could fetch £245mln for sale of London south bank headquarters, say analysts

Liberum said ITV could use the proceeds of the disposal to reduce debt, return cash back to shareholders, support mergers and acquisitions, for investments

ITV launched a fresh strategy under new CEO Carolyn McCall in July

ITV plc (LON:ITV) has confirmed it has ditched plans to move back into its headquarters on London’s south bank after a planned five-year redevelopment of the site.

The UK broadcaster, which moved out of the south bank site and into a facility in London’s Holborn in 2017, will instead sell the building.

"Since the original decision to redevelop the south bank site, ITV has launched its new strategy and has successfully moved to new office space in Holborn and studios in W12," a spokesperson said.

"These provide excellent modern, functional and flexible working environments.”

Liberum expects ITV to raise £245mln from disposal

ITV bought the south bank building for £56mln from previous owner Coal Pensions Nominees. Analysts at Liberum have estimated that ITV could fetch about £245mln for the disposal of the site. 

Liberum maintained a 'buy' rating on ITV, saying the company could use the proceeds of the disposal to reduce debt, return cash back to shareholders, support mergers and acquisitions, for investments. 

READ: ITV says it will not bid for Peaky Blinders production firm Endemol Shine

The broadcaster, which produces hit shows Love Island and Victoria, said it needs to “ensure that its property portfolio in London supports the new strategy by giving the flexibility to continue to grow while supporting our ambition to be an agile and increasingly digital organisation”.

“By remaining in our current London office and studio spaces, we can focus more time and resources on the areas of the business which will deliver greatest value," it added. 

ITV's strategic refresh 

Carlyon McCall, who has been chief executive of ITV since the start of the year, launched a new strategy in July that involves growing its content business and direct-to-consumer offerings.

READ: Love Island and World Cup draw in more viewers for ITV in first half

ITV is among several firms, including Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS), 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA), Lionsgate Entertainment Corp (NYSE:LGF), NBC Universal, Sony Pictures and Warner Media, that are investing in a new video streaming service for mobile phones that is being launched by DreamWorks Animation co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg.


Quick facts: ITV PLC

Price: 104.8 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £4.22 billion

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