Leaderless ITV plugs £120m gap through bonds release

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 as the broadcaster’s efforts to find achairman and director general were dealt a blow after former Channel 4 chairman Sir Michael Bishop and Sir Crispin Davis, a former Reed Elsevier chief executive, ruled themselves out of the running for the chairman’s role.

Chief operating officer John Cresswell has also stated that he will leave the company once a permanent chief executive is appointed. Cresswell is to step in as interim CEO once the board has found a chairman.

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

The negotiations to fill these roles are taking place as ITV faces declines in advertising revenue and a reduction in programming budgets.

However, a recent statement from Goldman Sachs that trends in advertising for television are showing “signs of improvement” saw ITV’s share price rise at the start of this week.

In a recent trading update the broadcaster forecast that ad revenue will fall by 3% in October compared to the same month last year, but it expects to outperform its competitors in the second half and the full year.

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