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ITV takeover rumours circulate as Brexit result wipes £2.5bn off broadcaster's stock market value

ITV's stock market value has declined by almost £2.5bn since Friday / ITV

ITV's stock market value has declined by almost £2.5bn since the UK voted to leave the EU, provoking speculation that the network could become a takeover target.

ITV is highly dependent on advertising for a large slice of its revenues and investors are nervous about the repercussions a Brexit could have on marketing budgets, which is driving the broadcaster's share value down.

The group's share price fell by more than 20 per cent on Friday, then jittery investors drove its price down by more than five per cent in early trading on Monday. At the time of writing, ITV's share price had fallen to 165p, down from a pre-Brexit figure of 220p.

City analysts are now wondering whether the broadcaster's stock market decline, coupled with the pound's fall in value, could court takeover bids from overseas media firms.

"This increases the chance of a bid by one one of the major US media companies where there is a historical and present interest in the UK market," said Ian Whittaker, an analyst at Liberum told the Guardian.

"Not only from the established media giants, but also from new media/tech companies (for example, we believe that several of the US internet giants explored a bid for the English Premier League rights in the last bidding round)."

Both John Malone's Liberty Global, which owns Virgin Media and NBC-owner Comcast, are rumoured to have expressed interesting in scooping up ITV previously, with the former being the brand's largest shareholder with a 9.9 per cent stake in the business.

Back in May, ITV warned that uncertainty over the referendum had led to "flat" advertising sales.

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