27 June 2000

Charles Allen, chairman of Granada Media Group, yesterday outlined details of the company’s intended demerger from Granada Group and its flotation on the London Stock Exchange. Carrying a price tag of up to £6.3 billion, the IPO will be evaluated on July 11, a week prior to publication of the government’s crucial white paper on ITV consolidation.

This will determine whether the Department of Trade and Industry will permit the currently proposed merger between United News & Media and Carlton Communications. Allen believes that the DTI report may favour an agreed deal: " I see a single ITV company in two to three years. But, as far as United and Carlton is concerned, I do not rule out some kind of agreed deal."

He added that a restrictive decision by the DTI would be damaging to commercial broadcasting in Britain. The white paper, Allen predicted, " is not likely to say you can do nothing and it is not likely to say you can go all the way. What I expect it to say is that we can go part of the way. Agreement between the three of us might be the best way to achieve that”.

News source: The Times (London)