Carlton Beats United To Buy Westcountry
Carlton Communications pulled off a surprise coup at the weekend by outbidding United News & Media to buy Westcountry TV for around £85m.
It was widely expected however that it would be United who would offer the most money, since a takeover of Westcountry would give it significant control of Southern England's ITV licences *United Heads Race For Westcountry due to its stakes in the Meridian and Anglia franchises. It is rumoured however that Westcountry became increasingly frustrated at the slow progress of talks with United and were wooed by a larger bid from Carlton.
With Westcountry having a 2.3% share of ITV ad revenue, generating around £37m last year, the acquisition gives Carlton a 34% share and an 11% share of total viewing in the UK. Sales for Westcountry are currently handled by TSMS, a United-owned company, and it is expected that Carlton Sales will take over when TSMS's contract terminates at the end of next year.
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Carlton Communications: 0171 663 6363.