Green and Allen could be opposed for top ITV roles

LONDON - Michael Green and Charles Allen face a battle for the top two jobs at a merged ITV, as plans are revealed to install a rival management team in their place.

According to a report in the Sunday Times, a fund manager, Anthony Bolton, is scouring the City to find media executives willing to take on the top roles at the merged ITV company.

Bolton works at Fidelity Investments and manages funds owning 12% of Carlton and 6% of Granada, making him an influential shareholder with power to garner support from other shareholders.

At the merged Granada, Green, who is currently chairman of Carlton Communications, is to take the role of chairman. Allen, currently chief executive at Granada, is to become chief executive.

Almost as soon as the £2.6bn deal was announced last October, shareholders were calling for at least one of the two senior posts to go to an outside executive, with questions over whether or not the pair will be able to work together. However, Carlton and Granada have pushed forward with the Green-Allen management line-up.

The report in the Sunday Times says that Bolton's strategy is to research companies that are mis-priced, and that companies at the end of a merger process attract his attention.

The Competition Commission is due to give its decision on the merger next month.

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