ITV shares up on Leftfield purchase

<p>Stocks in the television company rose this morning.</p>

The share price of television company ITV is up this morning (May 7th) after the firm revealed it has purchased a controlling stake in Leftfield Entertainment Group.

ITV stated that the deal for the company means it is now the largest unscripted independent producer in the US and investors responded positively to the news being released.

The company has already gained regulatory approval and ITV stated that the deal "will be earnings enhancing from day one" after an agreement was reached with the Leftfield founder and chief executive officer Brent Montgomery.

Commenting on the deal, Mr Montgomery stated that it is an exciting time for everyone involved with Leftfield. He said: "Our agreement with ITV marks a major milestone in the company's evolution and I am looking forward to working with them for the next five years and beyond."

In a statement, ITV revealed that Mr Montgomery will remain chief executive of Leftfield Entertainment Group under ITV's new ownership.   

International focus

ITV is pushing hard with plans to build a strong international content business, focusing particularly hard on the US market at the present time. ITV Studios now has a "significant presence" on both the east and west coasts of the US and the company stated that the Leftfield deal "strengthens and complements our existing creative capability".

Adam Crozier, chief executive at ITV, added that Leftfield has been able to grow rapidly from producing a single pilot to becoming one of the biggest independent TV firms in the US.

He said: "The team has combined creativity with strong production expertise, with over 70 per cent of the business coming from returning series and a pipeline of new ideas coming through in 2014 and into 2015 that is really encouraging."

Following this morning's announcement, the share price of ITV rose on the London Stock Exchange. By 09:31 BST, stocks in the firm were up by more than one per cent compared to the start of the trading session, though these gains were not as large as earlier in the day. At 11:35 BST, the increase was 1.08 per cent.

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