Britain's BSkyB sells ITV stake to Liberty Global

LONDON, July 17 Thu Jul 17, 2014 2:11am EDT

LONDON, July 17 (Reuters) - Britain's pay-TV group BSkyB has sold a 6.4 percent stake in the country's biggest free-to-air commercial broadcaster ITV to cable group Liberty Global for 481 million pounds ($824 million).

BSkyB, which will need to raise cash if it goes ahead with its plan to buy assets in Italy and Germany, had bought a 17.9 percent stake in ITV in 2006 for 940 million pounds, effectively blocking cable group NTL creating a larger and more powerful competitor.

It was then forced to reduce the stake to appease the competition regulator. NTL went on to become Virgin Media, which has since been bought by Liberty. ($1 = 0.5835 British Pounds) (Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Paul Sandle)

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