Earlier this week, Deadline reported that the four main contenders in the bidding for Dick Clark Productions are CBS, CORE Media Group and private equity firms Guggenheim Partners and Thomas H. Lee Partners. On Tuesday, Sky News reported that UK broadcaster ITV is also kicking the tires of the Golden Globes producer and has hired Barclays to advise on its interest. Such a move would fall in line with comments ITV boss Adam Crozier made in December of 2011 when he hinted that ITV may be in the market to buy an American production company. Crozier is part-way through a five-year transformation plan at ITV which includes wiping down £612M in debt and creating “world class content” to be exploited at home and abroad across multiple platforms.
ITV, which airs, but does not produce, Downton Abbey and Simon Cowell’s Britain’s Got Talent, has been spreading its wings with in-house production including the upcoming Jeremy Piven series Mr. Selfridge via its successful ITV Studios. The group’s recent half-year results boasted growth across all business areas. At the time those results were announced, ITV also said it had acquired Norwegian production company Mediacircus and entered a development and production partnership with Israeli broadcaster Reshet. Still, the chances of a successful bid for DCP have met with some skepticism. According to the Sky News report, ITV would be “disciplined” about what it could pay. The asking price is said to be $350M and CBS is expected to bid north of that in the next few days with chief Les Moonves understood to be the most aggressive suitor. Red Zone Capitol Management bought DCP in 2007 for around $175M and currently owns the TV producer with Six Flags Entertainment Group which holds a 40% stake.