ITV's largest shareholder, Liberty Global, has increased its stake in the broadcaster, citing the opportunity of "attractive growth potential".
In a statement this morning Liberty Global, the world's largest international cable company, said it had bought 138.7m shares in ITV, taking its total stake to 398.5m shares – approximately 9.9 per cent.
The broadcaster's share price rose just under two per cent to 277p on the news. At current market prices Liberty's stake is worth around £1.1bn.
ITV's strong stock market performance in recent months – the company's share price has risen 28.5 per cent since the turn of the year as it has completed a number of acquisitions – means Liberty was able to increase its stake without any further investment.
Chief executive Mike Fries explained:
Given ITV's operating and stock price performance, we were able to increase our stake to 9.9 per cent with no incremental investment by hedging our existing equity position. This investment remains an opportunistic one for us in our largest market. ITV is a well-run company with attractive growth potential, and we are pleased to increase our position as their largest shareholder.