Investor Intrigues to Topple ITV Head Honchos

15 July 2003

Anthony Bolton, a London-based investment manager at US giant Fidelity Investments, is in recruiting mode.

His quarry is not eager young investment neophytes – but a potential chief executive and chairman to step into the shoes of Granada chief executive Charles Allen and Carlton Communications chairman Michael Green.

Assuming the planned merger between the ITV titans scrapes past the Competition Commission, Allen and Green intend to shoehorn themselves into the respective roles of chairman and ceo of the combined group. But Bolton, whose funds hold a 12% stake in Granada and 6% in Carlton, has other ideas.

According to the Sunday Times, he has been touting the corridors of industry and finance for two executives more attuned to Fidelity's needs.

Green and Allen are not the flavour of the month in the City of London at this moment in time, as ITV’s ratings and their respective share prices vie in their downward race. Nor are the twosome held in high regard after last year’s ITV Digital fiasco which drained £1 billion from shareholders’ wallets.

Should Bolton succeed in lining-up the right people, a management insurrection is in prospect if the merger is approved by the regulator – although a thumbs-up is by no means a foregone conclusion given the vehement opposition encountered from media rivals and the advertising industry.

The recommendations of the Competition Commission will be passed to trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt on August 26.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff