Shares in UK commercial broadcaster ITV rose as much as 4.6 per cent in London trading after weekend media reports that private equity firms were consider a takeover bid. ITV shares climbed as much as 3.5 pence to 80 pence and traded at 79.3 pence as of 12:37pm, valuing the broadcaster at £3.08 billion pounds (E4.1 billion).
Apax Partners Worldwide LLP and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co were named as potential bidders, acting separately or as a partnership, with suggestions of an offer of about 100 pence a share. In March 2006, ITV rejected an offer for a controlling stake in the company from Apax, Blackstone Group and Goldman Sachs, suggesting that the proposal wasn’t in the interest of shareholders.
The takeover speculation follows the government decision that BSkyB, the UK's dominant pay-television provider, must cut its stake in ITV to less than 7.5 per cent from 17.9 per cent in the interests of competition.