ITV has held private takeover talks with Canadian film and TV distributor Entertainment One, according to multiple reports.
The Financial Times and Bloomberg are both reporting that ITV, which makes hits like Downtown Abbey and Mr Selfridge, held early stage talks with Entertainment One, which owns hit kids show Peppa Pig and has distributed films like Oscar-winners Spotlight and 12 Years A Slave.
Both reports say no decision has been taken on a deal and talks could come to nothing. A spokesperson for ITV told BI: “We do not comment on speculation.”
Entertainment One released a brief statement on Thursday morning saying: “No approach has been received by eOne.”
Entertainment One is listed in London and currently valued at £677 million, but shares are down over 30% since November and are currently around half their all-time high. As a result, the company looks vulnerable to a bid.
ITV, which has a market value of £9.7 billion, has been trying to transform itself from simply a broadcaster to a major production force that can sell its wares globally under CEO Adam Crozier.
It has been boosting its production business with acquisitions in recent years, snapping up the studio behind The Voice, Talpa Media, and Mammoth Studios, which made ITV hit Poldark.