ITV sells 50 per cent stake in Screenvision

ITV is taking action to reduce its debt.

ITV has sold its 50 per cent stake in cinema advertising company Screenvision to US private equity fund Shamrock Capital for $80m.

The broadcaster said that proceeds from the sale which was being considered for a long time, will be used to clear its debt. The transaction is subject to anti-trust clearance in the US.

ITV is keen on further reducing its net debt, which decreased by £175m in the six months to 30 June this year.

"This is another important step for ITV as we progress our transformation plan to focus the business on its core objectives of UK multiplatform broadcasting and global content," said the ITV chief executive, Adam Crozier.

ITV has been offloading its non-core assets for a number of years. Most recently, the broadcaster sold its 25 per cent stake in social network Friends Reunited to DC Thompson subsidiary Brightsolid for £25m. Last year, the broadcaster sold Carlton Screen Advertising, Ireland's largest cinema ad agency, to Dermot Hanrahan for an undisclosed sum. In 2008, it sold its stake in Liverpool Football Club for £15.75m.