ITV has confirmed it is “actively exploring” a deal to buy All3Media, the producer of Gogglebox and The Traitors.
It came after reports that it was considering a move to snap up the production firm from current joint owners Warner Bros Discovery and Liberty Global to potentially combine it with its ITV Studios arm.
Reuters reported that All3Media, which also produces Fleabag and Midsomer Murders, could fetch a price tag of over £1 billion.
In an update to shareholders, ITV added that “there can be no certainty as to whether any transaction will take place, nor as to the terms of any such transaction”.
“A further announcement” will be made if and when appropriate.
The possible deal could see Warner Bros Discovery sell its stake in the firm amid efforts to reduce its 49 billion dollar (£38.3 billion) debt mountain.
Telecoms firm Liberty Global is already one of ITV’s largest investors, with an almost 10% stake in the broadcaster.
A potential takeover of All3Media would boost the firm’s ITV Studios content arm, which has been a key driver of growth for the company amid volatility in the advertising and streaming sectors.
The Studios business reported a 19% rise in revenues and 22% increase in earnings for 2022.
The possible deal also comes as ITV bosses continue to face intense scrutiny over former This Morning host Phillip Schofield’s exit from the programme.
ITV boss Dame Carolyn McCall told MPs at a select committee on Wednesday that the broadcaster does not recognise allegations of a toxic culture at This Morning, saying “it deeply disappoints me”.
Shares in ITV were 0.2% lower on Friday morning.