The mooted £5 billion ($7.11bn; €8.13bn) merger between Britain's two ITV titans, Carlton Communications and Granada Media, appears still to be on course – despite the terse announcement issued twelve days ago that “the two boards have decided not to pursue these discussions.”
According to insiders, ITV’s controlling duo are still eager to seal the marriage despite failure to agree on the funding of their cashdraining co-venture, ITV Digital, that led to the suspension of negotiations.
Carlton chairman Michael Green, known for his abrasive management style, is reported to have told friends that he will “seek fresh challenges” once the deal is done. Insiders believe that Green’s withdrawal will leave Granada chair Charles Allen as undisputed leader of the merged group with Steve Morrison, his first lieutenant, as chief executive.
The proposal on the table when the talks were abruptly broken-off was that Green would take the chair of the combined company. He is now likely to play only an interim management role during the integration of the companies, before quitting under the burden of a massive compensation package.
Data sourced from: MediaGuardian.co.uk and BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff