Goldman Sachs Hires Ex-ITV Boss as Senior Advisor

09 September 2008

LONDON: The private equity arm of investment bank Goldman Sachs has hired former ITV ceo Charles Allen (pictured) as a "senior advisor" to Goldman Sachs Capital Partners "on a range of media issues".

These include the the fixing of a beady eye on Goldman's main media property, European TV production giant Endemol.

Effuses Endemol ceo Ynon Kreiz of Allen: "It's great to have him on the board. He is one of the more savvy people in the industry."

Which was not the opinion of ITV shareholders back in August 2006 when they ousted Allen from the ailing broadcaster's helm.

Allen (51), a former catering company accountant, floated to the top at ITV after a series of takeovers and mergers created the UK's largest commercial broadcaster. Although credited as a wiz with balance sheets, Allen eventually paid the price for failing to attract sufficient consumer eyeballs to ITV's output.

His Goldman appointment has inevitably reignited speculation about ITV's future – specifically that Endemol might bid for the ailing giant.

However, a mole "familiar with Endemol's position" dismisses such a possibility: "It isn't a question of a bid for the whole of ITV being more likely, mostly because of the debt levels.

"But if somebody does buy it and there is a break-up of ITV, it makes it more likely that Endemol would be involved in any auction for ITV Productions [the broadcaster's in-house production unit]."

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff