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ITV rejects NTL

The Digger strikes again

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ITV has formally rejected a £4.7bn takeover bid by cable operator NTL.

The combined stock and cash offer valued ITV at about £1.20 per share. On Friday BSkyB swooped to swallow nearly 18 per cent of ITV at £1.35 per share.

An ITV statement to the stock exchange said: "The board believes that whereas there is obvious appeal to NTL in gaining control of ITV's substantial and successful business, from ITV's perspective there is little, if any, strategic logic for ITV to combine with NTL."

Over the weekend NTL's biggest shareholder Richard Branson called for Ofcom to investigate the Murdoch investment in ITV.

ITV said NTL's approach had "materially undervalued" the ailing broadcaster, which has shed viewers, advertisers, and board members in the past year. ®

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