ITV hopes to raise at least £150m from the sale of its headquarters on London’s South Bank after putting the site on the market through Knight Frank, the global property consultancy.
The London Studios site is one of the biggest mixed use development opportunities to hit the market for several years and is being sold with planning permission for a 31 storey residential tower made up of 213 apartments. A separate office and studio development are also in the plans, according to people familiar with the sale.
ITV moved out in 2017 and originally planned to return after the site had been refurbished. But Carolyn McCall, its chief executive, decided to sell it instead and continue operating from new offices on Chancery Lane.
The broadcaster, which had formerly leased the South Bank site, bought it from Coal Pension Nominees for £56m in 2013. It has had an association with the building, which was formerly the headquarters of London Weekend Television, for more than 40 years.
Programmes such as Good Morning Britain, which had been recorded on the South Bank, made their final broadcasts from there last April and are at present filmed at the Studioworks in White City, which is owned by the BBC.
The proposed sale comes as the South Bank grows in popularity as an office location, with companies such as advertising group WPP moving there. WPP is to take a lease on One Southwark Bridge, the Financial Times headquarters, having already moved some of its agencies into Sea Containers House near Blackfriars Bridge.
ITV, which declined to comment, is putting the development on the market the week after its shares fell about 6 per cent on a report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts that traditional television was declining because of the growth of streaming services, such as Netflix.
The shares clawed back some of the losses by the end of the week and are now trading at 132.65p.
ITV is separately working on a streaming service that it would operate with the BBC, pooling programming from both organisations. Tony Hall, director-general of the BBC, told the FT in an interview last month that the BBC was in “constructive discussions” with ITV.
The service will be modelled on BritBox, a streaming service the two broadcasters own and operate in the US, which is aimed at American fans of UK programming.
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