ITV drops Cazenove from advisory team

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The Independent Online

ITV, the UK's largest commercial broadcasting company, has dropped Cazenove as corporate broker, the investment bank's first loss of a FTSE 100 index client since entering a partnership with JP Morgan in November.

ITV, the UK's largest commercial broadcasting company, has dropped Cazenove as corporate broker, the investment bank's first loss of a FTSE 100 index client since entering a partnership with JP Morgan in November.

ITV said yesterday that after the merger between Carlton and Granada it had five corporate brokers from which it has now selected three ­ Citigroup, Hoare Govett and UBS.

ITV's shares have been sliding for most of the past 12 months. They began trading last year above 140p but closed last night at 108.5p.

Credit Suisse First Boston, as well as Cazenove, has been dropped. The move could be seen as a blow to Cazenove, whose power as Britain's largest corporate broker came from its role as adviser to 43 of Britain's top 100 companies.

Cazenove, under its chairman, David Mayhew, effectively gave up 181 years of independence in early November when it sealed a joint venture with J P Morgan Chase & Co, designed to lift the US bank's UK presence and give Cazenove a broader reach. ITV's move is the first time Cazenove has lost a FTSE 100 company since HSBC dropped it in favour of Goldman Sachs in October. Cazenove last week lost the broker's role at Arla Foods, a mid-cap dairy group.

Cazenove pointed out that brokerships come and go and last week the group won the mandate to advise Trinity Mirror. Cazenove still retains significant power in the City. For example, it is the sole adviser to Manchester United and the lead adviser for Novar which is fighting off a bid from Melrose.

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