A hedge fund has bought a 5% stake in ITV, Britain's biggest commercial television broadcaster, as it struggles with a weak advertising market that has sent its share price plummeting in recent years.
Silchester International Investors LLP, which has offices in the heart of Mayfair, just minutes from both Berkeley Square and Savile Row, has a stake in ITV of about 100 million, according to regulatory filings. acquired 20 million pounds ($152 million).
ITV ITV shares,
It fell 1% on Tuesday, losing 33% of its value year-on-year, as a weak advertising market hit free-to-air broadcasters' revenues.
Founded in 1994, Silchester describes itself as “specializing in international equity investing on behalf of institutional investors” and aims to generate “attractive long-term returns through investments in listed international equities”. It states that
Outlining its investment philosophy, the hedge fund, which has previously held stakes in major British companies including Tesco TSCO, said:
“We aim to identify companies that can increase their earnings, assets and dividends through their own efforts,” the company said.
The low-profile hedge fund, founded by former Morgan Stanley banker Stephen Butt, has invested in some of the world's major television broadcasters and media companies, including Luxembourg's RTL Group RRTL.
and TVB in Hong Kong.
In 2022, it has been revealed that Silchester will become WPP of WPP.
He is the third investor to amass a £500m stake in the British advertising giant with investments that have led to speculation that the fund could push for a breakup of the multinational telecoms company.
Mayfair Hedge Fund takes its name from an ancient settlement in Berkshire, founded by Celtic tribes during the Iron Age before being occupied by the Romans in 45 AD.
The acquisition will make Silchester the seventh largest shareholder in ITV, after telecommunications company Liberty Global LBTYA.
(9.83%), and the asset managers are Brandes Investment Partners LP (5.83%), RWC Asset Management (5.63%), Schroder Investment Management (5.2%), Artemis Investment Management (5.1%), and Threadneedle Asset Management (5.07%) is.
ITV, which launched in 1955 as Britain's first private television broadcaster, makes money by selling advertising on television and producing programs that are sold to broadcasters such as Amazon Prime and the BBC.
The London-based company has suffered financially from reduced spending on TV advertising as viewers move away from traditional broadcast TV and turn to streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.
However, ITV has seen an increase in revenue from its studio business in recent years, driven by the popularity of shows such as Love Island and Come Dine With Me.
Earlier this year, ITV's drama Mr Bates vs. the Post Office, which looked at Britain's Horizon Post Office scandal, attracted 14.8 million viewers, making it the network's most successful new drama in a decade.
A spokesperson for Silchester International Investors declined to comment.