LWT takeover nearer

Granada Group’s hostile takeover bid for fellow ITV broadcaster LWT got a boost Wednesday with the news that LWT’s hopes for a defensive merger with Yorkshire Tyne Tees TV had collapsed.

According to reports, LWT’s institutional shareholders blocked the company’s complex plan to combine with YTT-TV and then sell the Tyne Tees operation to Anglia TV.

Granada has already seen the value of its all-stock bid increase significantly thanks to a steady rise in its share price from 580 pence ($ 3.90) to Wednesday’s high of 640 pence ($ 4.30). But only 2.3% of LWT shareholders accepted the offer by the Dec. 29 deadline, and Granada may yet have to sweeten the bid before the second deadline on Jan. 12.

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