Takeover fears as HTV surges
Wednesday 27 September 1995
But HTV's chief executive, Chris Rowlands, denied yesterday that the company was expecting an approach. "We are not spending all our time manning the defensive barricades," he said.
HTV has been a potential takeover target for some months, but the sale last week of a 20 per cent block of shares to Scottish Television sent speculation to a fever pitch.
The block was offered to STV by Flextech, the cable and satellite programme maker, which paid pounds 28m plus the HTV holding for a 20 per cent stake in STV, the Scottish licence holder. The deal will be put to STV shareholders at a extraordinary general meeting tomorrow.
Analysts said STV might then make an approach for HTV. The two companies held talks early this year, which foundered on the question of management appointments. Mr Rowlands was apparently unwilling to work under Gus Macdonald, the STV chairman.
News of the Warburg appointment came as HTV unveiled interim pre-tax profits of pounds 6.1m, up 118 per cent on 1994, at the top end of analysts' expectations. The shares were up 1p to 233p, but analysts said the stock had already fully reflected bid expectations.
The higher profits for the six months to June 1995 were driven by the distribution activities under HTV's new rights division. These include the exploitation of TV, cinema and video rights secured from companies such as Turner Entertainment, the giant media company founded by Ted Turner, which is now being sold to Time Warner.
Mr Rowlands said the exploitation of rights would drive profits growth over the next five years, and could represent 50 per cent of profits by 2000.
HTV would continue to produce television programmes for ITV and other buyers, and is currently making a made-for-TV movie based on the BBC series Poldark.
The company would also seek alliances with other producers - either to produce new programmesor to obtain additional rights.
Louis Sherwood, the chairman of HTV, added that the company would push hard to convince the Independent Television Commission to appoint a second designated news producer in additional to Independent Television News to supply the ITV companies. The ITN service, which includes News at Ten, is "too London-centric," Mr Sherwood said. This view was echoed by Mr Rowlands, who said: "the news is not always appropriate for all regions of the country."
The ITV-ITN contract is now being renegotiated, and the ITC may consider adding news suppliers such as BSkyB to the list of designated providers.
Investment column, page 25
- 1 Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Dad attempts revenge on teenage daughter, plan backfires spectacularly
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Isis 'throw man off a building for homosexual affair' and beat him to death when he survives
Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
Boris Johnson claims porn-obsessed Islamic jihadists are 'literally w*****s'
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...
£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...
£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...