Suitors lineup for likely sale of HTV

$675 mil prepared for possible acquisition

LONDON — Former execs of HTV, the ITV network station for Wales and west England, are reportedly preparing a £450 million ($675 million) offer for the company if and when it comes up for sale.

HTV is one of the TV assets that Granada Media is acquiring from United News & Media, but it will almost certainly be sold within six months of the merger’s completion to keep Granada’s reach within the 15% of U.K. viewership allowed under broadcasting rules.

The largest contender among potential buyers is Granada’s chief ITV rival, Carlton Communications, which was thwarted in its own attempt to merge with United.

But Granada may not wish to give away any of the ground it has gained over Carlton since its $2.7 billion deal with United (Daily Variety, July 31). Another possible buyer for HTV is Scottish ITV company SMG.

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