Feeds

ITV-NTL merger talks confirmed

The Branson Factor

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Sir Richard Branson has given his backing to, er, Sir Richard Branson's plan to become a TV mogul by merging NTL with ailing end-of-the-pier telly outfit ITV.

The Financial Times and Reuters reported the "Rebel Billionaire" was pushing for a deal and a source at Virgin says he is "quite excited about it".

Owning 11 per cent of NTL, Branson is the largest shareholder. Both firm's market capitalisation is about £4.5bn, though NTL's £5.9bn debt dwarfs ITV's £700m in the red.

NTL confirmed talks were ongoing. A statement said: "NTL confirms that it has advised ITV of its interest in exploring a possible combination transaction and has scheduled an initial conversation with ITV to that end."

Branson's long-standing TV ambitions may finally come to fruition with markets primed by Sky's move into broadband and BT's forthcoming IPTV service. Speculation about a possible deal hasn't done NTL's share prices any favours though. At time of writing NTL was down more than 2.5 per cent, while ITV only lost slight ground on the 6 per cent it gained yesterday in heavy trading.

Ovum analyst Aleksandra Bosnjak said: "The bottom line is that a full scale merger is just a good Hollywood story, but a joint partnership or a venture focused on extracting cash from joint synergies is a possiblity."

We can't recall the last blockbuster we saw about broadband-media convergence merger talks, so we've started working on the screenplay. There's already oscar buzz surrounding Noel Edmonds' heart-wrenching turn as Richard Branson. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
BIG FAT Lies: Porky Pies about obesity
What really shortens lives? Reading this sort of crap in the papers
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?