British broadcasting group Granada Media has completed its £50.5 million purchase of Border Television from Capital Radio, reinforcing its position as the dominant shareholder in commercial network ITV, ahead of rival Carlton Communications.

Agreed in April last year, the acquisition was held up by the ban on any single ITV company reaching more than 15% of television viewers. However, following an agreement with the Independent Television Commission, Granada circumnavigated the cap by shifting into a trust 5% of its holding in ITV’s morning service GMTV.

Border broadcasts to parts of Cumbria and the Scottish borders, giving Granada control over all ITV regions between the midlands and Scotland. The broadcaster now holds six of ITV’s fourteen regional licenses and a 52% share of the network’s ad revenue.

Capital retains Century, the radio brand it gained when it bought Border last year. The group said the income from the sale would be used to lower its debt to $40m and provide “significant financial headroom” for further radio investments.

News source: Financial Times