ITV has made a one-off cash payment of £18m for Disney's 25% stake in GMTV, together with a further one-off payment of £4.25m in respect of Disney's share of the forecast cash balance in the business as at the year end.
The acquisition is part of ITV's stated strategy to focus on its core activities and will allow closer integration between ITV and the breakfast service, which runs from 6am-9.25am.
The move is expected to lead to a restructure and the broadcaster is unable to rule out redundancies at a later date.
GMTV currently employs 300 people, including senior management Clive Crouch, chief operating officer, Simon Poole, sales and marketing director and Ian Williams, head of business development.
An ITV spokesman said discussions will be taking place with GMTV staff from today but stressed no decisions about the future set-up, including the possibility of redundancies, will be made until a full review had taken place.
While most UK viewers consider the third terrestrial channel to be fully owned by ITV anyway, the licence to broadcast in the early morning slot is auctioned off separately from the other Channel 3 regional licences.
John Cresswell, chief operating officer at ITV, said: "GMTV is the gateway to the ITV day and a perfect fit with ITV's existing daytime programming.
"It represents an exciting opportunity to create a highly complementary daytime schedule offering great programming from 6am to 6pm."
This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk
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