ITV in £120m bonds issue to reduce debt

ITV is planning to raise £120m through a bonds issue in a bid to reduce debt, while also scrapping plans to sell its digital TV business, SDN.

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The move comes at a time of record declines in advertising revenue and a fall in TV ad rates.

The latest development also comes as the broadcaster announced plans yesterday (12 October) that chief operating officer John Cresswell would step in as interim CEO once a chairman is found to replace executive chairman Michael Grade.

However, Cresswell plans to leave the broadcaster when a permanent CEO is found.

Former Channel 4 chairman Sir Michael Bishop and Sir Crispin Davis, a former Reed Elsevier chief executive, have both taken themselves out of the running for the chairman’s role.

And last month, talks with former BSkyB chief Tony Ball to take on the CEO role broke down.

In a trading update ITV forecasts that ad revenue will fall by 3% in October compared to the same month last year. However, it maintains that it is expecting to outperform its competitors in the second half and the full year.

Meanwhile, ITV says it will not sell Freeview channel operator SDN. Its mooted sale had been raised earlier this year, with estimates that it could have been delivered the broadcaster as much as £200m. SDN makes about £40m a year in revenue.

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