- Granada Group, the UK hotels and media group, is considering an international partnership and a possible flotation of its media arm to unlock the company's true value.
Charles Allen, Granada chief executive, said that the city was failing to value Granada's media assets, which include Granada Television and London Weekend Television, highly enough.
His comments were reported in today's Guardian newspaper, which said Allen was moving to position Granada's media arm as the "international partner of choice".
An international deal is seen as a way of triggering a reappraisal of the company's value and makes a flotation of the media business a more attractive move. However, any partnership is likely to be conducted at an operating level rather than a financial one.
Allen's comments came on the back of the entrance of Microsoft into the UK cable television industry with its 29 per cent stake in Telewest, and the decision by Rupert Murdoch to launch an aggressive marketing campaign for BSkyB by giving away digital set top decoder boxes for its Sky Digital service.
Allen said that Granada, which with partner Carlton Communications operates the ONdigital terrestrial TV digital service, would not be drawn into a price war with BSkyB as its costs were much lower.
Allen pointed both to Granada's position as a programme maker was not being recognised by the city in its balance sheets. Programme making coupled with its development of pay-TV programming made Granada one of the most profitable media companies in Europe, he added.