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Silchester acquires 5% ITV stake

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London-based asset management firm Silchester International Investors has built a 5% stake worth around £120m ($152m) in ITV, the UK’s largest commercial television broadcaster, according to a report by Morningstar citing regulatory filings.

The stake makes Silchester, which was founded in 1994 and focuses on international equity investments, ITV’s seventh largest shareholder, behind telecommunications company Liberty Global (9.83%) and asset managers Brandes Investment Partners (5.83%), RWC Asset Management (5.63%), Schroder Investment Management (5.2%), Artemis Investment Management (5.1%), and Threadneedle Asset Management (5.07%).

Shares in ITV fell 1% yesterday, having lost 33% of their value in 2023.

ITV was launched under the name Independent Television in 1955, with the aim of challenging the BBC’s monopoly at the time. Its revenue comes from ad sales and the production of shows that are then sold to other broadcasters.

The broadcaster has struggled in recent years as viewers increasingly favour streaming services. Revenue from its studio business has increased, however, due to shows such as Love Island, Come Dine With Me and the 2024 drama Mr Bates vs the Post Office, which covers the UK’s Horizon post office scandal, with its first episode drawing in 9.2m viewers, according to a report by The Telegraph.

Silchester was founded in 1994 by Stephen Butt, a former Banker at Morgan Stanley, and his colleagues, including Michael Cowan and Bertrand Le Pan de Ligny. The firm has previously bought stakes in various British multinationals including Tesco, GSK and WPP, as well as investments in television broadcasters and media companies globally including Luxembourg’s RTL Group and Hong Kong’s TVB, exerting its influence in preventing the rollout of the latter’s share buy-back programme in 2017.

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