ITV dodges US listing requirements

Link: SEC blocks Sarbox escape from US

The broadcaster, which inherited certain registration and reporting obligations to the US SEC from its joint owner Carlton Communications, expects to save £3m a year by suspending these obligations. It will achieve this by reorganising its share capital, effectively buying out Carlton’s US shareholders that own less than 175,000 shares.

‘These obligations are very costly in both financial and management time and confer no material benefit on ITV,’ the group said in a statement to the Stock Exchange.

Reporting obligations to the SEC may be suspended if the number of US resident persons who hold each class of ITV ordinary shares and ITV convertible shares either directly or through another person, falls below 300.

The affected shareholders will receive a US dollar cash payment with a 15% premium per share, plus a $500 payment.

Accountancy Age revealed at the start of the month that several UK companies were threatening to withdraw from US exchanges but would find it almost impossible to do so, as they could only achieve this by having less than 300 US shareholders.

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