ITV borrows further $218 million

Stock price hits new low

LONDON — Battling U.K. terrestrial web ITV is borrowing an additional £110 million ($217.8 million) to support its turnaround plan with a new bond issue.

The move comes as the broadcaster’s stock price, whose value has fallen by more than 60% in the past year, hit a new record low of 38.2 pence (76 cents) on Thursday.

John Cresswell. ITV’s chief operating officer and finance director, said: “We are pleased with this new issue of debt.

“We also have available a further £200 million ($399 million) of five-year committed bi-lateral financing, none of which includes financial covenants or credit rating triggers. Together these provide the medium-term liquidity to support our business plan.”

The continuing slide in ITV’s stock price, a big talking point among TV folk in Blighty, is solely down to gloom regarding the state of the British economy and poor prospects for the ad market, according to Paul Richards, media analyst at Numis Securities.

He said: “No one is suddenly thinking that Michael Grade (ITV’s executive chairman) is doing a bad job or the schedule is performing badly, the problem is entirely macro.”

Richards predicted that U.K. media stocks would continue to fall.

ITV’s turnaround plan involves improving the perf of flagship web ITV1, which generates more than half of the web’s ad coin, boosting sales from production and international activities, and scaling back or reducing altogether its public service obligations.

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