Banks Relieve ITV of 5.5 Percent Thomson Stake

24 September 2004

ITV continued its disposal of non-core assets by selling its stake in French technology group Thomson for £172 million ($309.5m; €251.3m) to investment banks Citigroup and UBS.

The UK's largest commercial broadcaster inherited the 5.5% stake following the merger of Carlton Communications and Granada earlier this year.

It has since endeavoured to sell off non-core assets in an attempt to cut its debt of £700m [WAMN: 01-Sep-04]. Comments ceo Charles Allen: "We're delighted to have disposed of our largest non-core asset sooner than expected at a five-month high and reduced our borrowings by £172m."

The stake sale follows the disposal last month of the Carlton Books business to a management buy-out team. ITV has also received offers for its Moving Picture Company special effects unit, with the transaction expected to raise £25m-£40m.

Next on the 'for sale' list is Carlton's cinema advertising business and stakes in Arsenal and Liverpool soccer clubs.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff