DMGT willing to sell 20% stake in ITN

LONDON - Daily Mail and General Trust has said it is open to selling its 20% stake in ITN, as the news broadcaster reportedly lines up new investors.

ITN: understood to be seeking new investment
ITN: understood to be seeking new investment

According to reports, ITN, the company behind ITV1's News at Ten and Channel 4 News, is open to bringing new investors on board. In addition, ITV, ITN's largest shareholder with a 40% stake, is reportedly open to selling or reducing its stake.

Peter Williams, finance director at DMGT, told Media Week: "We have always said that if we saw an exit we would take it. It makes no strategic sense for us. UBM [which holds a 20% stake in ITN], I believe has the same sentiments. It would be a good deal - it depends on the price."

ITV declined to comment. An ITN spokesperson said: "We do not comment on market speculation."

ITN is understood to be seeking new investment to boost its commercial revenue in order to grow internationally. This would include enlarging its consultancy arm, which advises companies how to manage news broadcasting and its news footage video library.

ITN posted a turnover of £98.7m in 2006 - the last publicly available figures - and a pre-tax profit of £5m.

Separately, ITN said today (9 February) it had launched the first video news application for Apple's iPhone, which can be downloaded free of charge through the iTunes App Store.

The application stores the latest stories to enable users to watch them on the move, even when travelling in non wi-fi environments such as the Tube.

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