29 August 2000

A group of former HTV executives, now running Britain’s smallest ITV franchise, Channel Television, plan to bid for their former company when it is divested by Granada Media.

Granada is required to sell-off HTV as a condition of the Competition Commission’s approval of its recent acquisition of United News & Media’s TV interests [WAMN: 28-Jul-00].

The ex-HTV team includes HTV’s former group director of television Huw Davies and ex-financial controller David Jenkins. Both men figure largely among the investors who bought Channel Television for £16.5 million three months ago. Channel will be the vehicle for the HTV bid.

Says Davies, a thirty-year veteran of HTV and its forerunners: "We know the company and we could run it well." Davies, a multimillionaire, insists that Channel has the financial backing to be a serious contender for HTV, claiming that he also has support from senior Welsh politicians who would like to see the Cardiff-based ITV company return to national ownership

But he and his colleagues will have to contend with Carlton Communications’ Michael Green, whose plan to merge Carlton with UN&M was thwarted by the Granada's successful eleventh-hour bid. Green is said to be “doing preliminary work” on an offer for HTV.

The Times Business News (London)