Liberty Global reportedly readying ITV takeover bid

ITV is reportedly the subject of interest from Virgin Media owner Liberty Global, which could mount a takeover bid.

The Telegraph claims that the media company owned by billionaire John Malone, is canvassing investors ahead of speaking to the board at ITV, with the main stumbling block apparently the price of the Channel 3 broadcaster.

Liberty Global bought BSkyB's last remaining 6.4 per cent stake in ITV for £481m.

The move was speculated earlier in August by Channel 4 boss, David Abraham during his MacTaggart Lecture, where he said; "Liberty and other US share­holders are trying to play footsie with ITV; which could eventually put Britain’s largest commercial channel in the hands of Dr John Malone, resident of Colorado and who also now controls the UK’s pay-cable platform Virgin Media, our largest producer, All3[Media] and Discovery."

The Guardian has previously claimed that even BT might attempt a takeover of ITV while it has also been speculated that US broadcaster Discovery could also make a move.

Neither ITV or Liberty Global had commented at the time of writing.

Earlier today, ITV revealed that the 11th series of its flagship programme, The X Factor returned with a peak audience of 10.6 million.

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