- Carlton Communications has bought the Wales and West of England ITV franchise, HTV, from Granada for £185.5 million in cash and its 20 per cent stake in Meridian Broadcasting.
The acquisition will top up Carlton's share of ITV's net advertising revenue to 40 per cent with a total television viewing share of just over 10 per cent.
Commenting on the deal, Gerry Murphy, Carlton's chief executive, said: "Bringing HTV together with Carlton's ITV stations makes perfect sense. We will build on HTV's strong track record of delivering high quality news and regional programmes while offering advertisers the whole of the West of England and Wales as a package."
The sale of Carlton's stake in Meridian will bring Granada's share of the South East of England ITV franchise to 99.9 per cent. Granada will keep hold of HTV's Bristol-based production business which is known for its children and wildlife programming. The production business will be incorporated into Granada's creative business.
The sale of HTV concludes the conditions imposed on Granada Media following its acquisition of United News & Media's ITV licenses in July. Granada has a 51 per cent share of the ITV advertising revenue. From January 2001 it will own the sales contract for Ulster TV.