PDA

View Full Version : ITV's rejection of a merger with NTL



Hunter
21-11-2006, 10:50 PM
Branson Concern Over ITV

Updated: 16:39, Tuesday November 21, 2006

Richard Branson, the biggest shareholder in cable firm NTL, has said he is concerned by ITV's rejection of a merger with NTL.
The rebuff came after Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation bought 17.9% of ITV shares.
"A week ago there was a lot of warmth from ITV. A week later a rejection," Sir Richard said.
"The only thing that's taken place in that last week that's different is Murdoch's acquisition of nearly 20% of the company.
"We believe that because he has become the biggest shareholder in ITV that has changed the scene somewhat - to say the least."

Sir Richard said he believed there was a logic to the deal and was hopeful the competition authorities would intervene.
Earlier, ITV rejected the offer from NTL which valued the broadcaster at around %u00A34.7bn.
Last Friday, BSKB - which owns Sky News - surprised the City with its purchase of 17.9% of ITV's shares.
Virgin chairman Richard Branson, who sold his Virgin mobile business to NTL, described the deal as "a blantant attempt to distort competition".
He has called on the Office of Fair Trading to investigate the deal.
In turn, the media regulator Ofcom has invited both ITV and Sky to comment on whether the recent share buy up represents a change of control of one or more of ITV's licences.