Gerry Robinson, Granada's chief executive, said Granada had been straightforward about wanting to buy LWT. 'We said we wanted to bid when we first took our stake,' he said. It was an 'obvious' link-up. 'This is by far and away the best combination of companies in ITV.'
He argued that the merger between Granada TV, the leisure group's television franchise, and LWT was necessary to 'counterbalance the growth of Carlton and Central', two other ITV franchises that have agreed to merge.
He would not say if Granada would raise the cash element of its bid, which has its first close tomorrow. At 528p this is worth significantly less than the paper offer, which at Granada's Friday close of 535p equated to 635p for each LWT share. LWT shares closed at 623p.
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