Telewest and IPC in £1bn sale talks

- IPC, the UK's largest magazine publisher, is reported to be considering offers to buy the company from bidders that include the cable firm Telewest.

- IPC, the UK's largest magazine publisher, is reported to be considering offers to buy the company from bidders that include the cable firm Telewest.

Telewest and IPC are understood to have had talks about a deal, but it is not thought an agreement has yet been reached. The company, which controls almost a quarter of the UK consumer publishing market, is valued at close to £1 billion.

Telewest is the only name so far to emerge as a bidder. However, other bidders could include Freeserve, the internet access company and portal, which was last week rebuffed in its approaches to Emap.

Telewest recently completed a £9 billion merger with Flextech, the UK-based content provider. A deal with IPC would give Telewest and Flextech access to valuable content to be exploited on the internet and interactive television.

IPC publishes titles including Marie Claire, Loaded and TV Times. In October a new chief executive, Sly Bailey, was appointed to halt sliding profits.

IPC was formerly owned by Reed Elsevier and was the subject of an £860 million management buy out in January 1998. The MBO was basked by venture capital firm Cinven.



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