Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/11/17/rtl_eyes_itv/

RTL tipped to bid for ITV

German media group to snatch NTL deal?

By Christopher Williams

Posted in Networks, 17th November 2006 11:39 GMT

German media group RTL is preparing a £5bn bid for ITV according to reports. Last week UK cable monopoly NTL was said to be preparing a bid for the troubled commercial broadcaster.

The Financial Times reports that while US-listed NTL works to formalize its bid, RTL, Europe's largest broadcaster is working with private backers to swoop on ITV.

RTL's parent company Bertelsmann is reportedly seeking private backing for the deal to avoid adding to its own debt.

ITV's market capitalisation stands at around £4.5bn, and it carries a £1bn debt.

On Tuesday, O2 group CEO Peter Erskine said while the proposed NTL/ITV deal could make sense on paper, in the real world the synergies from a tie-up might be difficult to realise. ®