Carlton and United link to form pounds 7.8bn media supergroup

Carlton Communications and United News and Media look set to merge, creating a pounds 7.8 billion multi-media behemoth.

Carlton Communications and United News and Media look set to merge,

creating a pounds 7.8 billion multi-media behemoth.



Last Friday the two companies announced their intention to create a UK

media supergroup, which would own the three most powerful TV

franchises - Carlton, Central and Meridian - as well as The Express and

the Daily Star. United also owns Anglia and HTV, while Carlton also owns

Westcountry TV.



Together the groups’ TV interests would give them a 32 per cent share of

ITV advertising revenue. Competition regulations dictate that no single

company can have more than a 25 per cent share of this market, but the

rules are under review. Even if the rules were enforced, the group would

only have to dispose of Anglia and HTV.



Both companies need to grow to compete with overseas media giants and to

inject some life into their flagging share prices.