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NTL move on ITV Digital denied

ITV Digital talking to 'virtually everyone in the industry'

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Carlton Communications and Granada have denied that NTL has put in an offer to buy their stake in ITV Digital.

According to reports today, NTL is believed to have launched an all-share offer for the digital TV operator, which is jointly owned by the two companies.

The deal is said to involve Carlton and Granada giving up their hold over ITV Digital in return for a ten per cent stake in the enlarged group.

The two companies would also invest up to £300 million in ITV Digital before it was sold.

NTL CEO Barclay Knapp said NTL had made no offer to buy ITV Digital.

"ITV Digital's discussions with virtually everyone in the industry have been well documented as they have looked for ways to improve their situation," he added.

Carlton and Granada both denied any offer had been received from NTL.

ITV Digital is expected to cost £1.1 billion before it breaks even in 2003. ®

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