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Liberty Global Raises Stake in ITV

Liberty Global has purchased 138.7 million shares in ITV plc, increasing its stake in Britain’s largest free-to-air commercial broadcaster to 9.9% of its outstanding shares, but assured regulators that it has no plans to take over the company.

Liberty first bought a 6.4% interest in ITV in July 2014 for $822.4 million. Months later it said it had no intention to build on that stake. Liberty Global apparently changed its mind.

“Given ITV's operating and stock price performance, we were able to increase our stake to 9.9% with no incremental investment by hedging our existing equity position,” said Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries in a statement. “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.”

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