John Malone’s Liberty Global Unlikely to Mount Takeover Bid for ITV, Finance Chief Says

LONDON — John Malone’s international cable company Liberty Global has poured cold water over the idea that it would mount a takeover bid for U.K. broadcaster-producer ITV.

Liberty Global bought a 6.45% stake in ITV last year, prompting speculation that the company would add to its holding, but Charlie Bracken, Liberty Global’s chief financial officer, told the Financial Times that ITV’s stock was too “pricey.”

“We’re not going to invest billions of dollars in content — that’s not our game,” Bracken said. “ITV looks awfully pricey.”

Bracken said Adam Crozier, ITV’s chief executive, had done an “amazing job,” but added, “why isn’t he going to Europe?” Liberty would be able to help ITV make its content available on demand in European countries where the cable company operates, such as Germany, he said.

Bracken also claimed that pay TV company Sky would be “in trouble” due to its reliance on satellite technology, and would focus on programming. The company would face fierce competition from Amazon and Netflix, which were ready “to bid hard with low margins.”

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