- Granada has emerged as the buyer of United News & Media's ITV franchises Meridian, Anglia and HTV in a deal worth £1.75 billion.
Regulatory limits will mean that Granada will have to sell of one of its franchises, which is likely to be the Welsh franchise HTV. It is thought that Carlton Communications will be keen to snap up HTV which would lead to Granada and Carlton becoming the two dominant forces in the ITV network.
Commenting on the deal, Charles Allen, the chairman of Granada Media, said: "This deal increases our national footprint, strengthens our offering to advertisers and allows us to play a leading role in ITV."
The Granada take-over occurs in the wake of the proposed merger between Carlton and United, which fell through when the government said it would allow the merger only if the combined group sold Meridian within six months.