Carlton Communications, the London-based broadcaster, which with Granada Media dominates Britain's ITV Network, has calmed mounting concern over the fragility of its balance sheet – enfeebled by debt-servicing and the massive losses incurred by ITV Digital, its co-venture with Granada.

On Friday Carlton successfully completed a E639 million ($566m) exchangeable bond issue which will mature in 2007, convertible to shares in French electronics giant Thomson Multimedia. This morphs Carlton’s present 5.5% holding in Thomson into crisply convenient cash.

Carlton shares have shed 68% of their value since January 2001 but gained a marginal 0.8% to £2.13.75 in Friday morning trade. Today (mid-morning Monday) they stood at £2.175.

News source: Financial Times