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TV rental groups discuss merger

GRANADA, the hotels and media group, and Nomura, the Japanese investment bank, are in talks about combining their television rentals businesses in a deal that would bring together the two leading players in the industry.

The two are thought to be lobbying the Government to allow the deal even though the businesses have a combined share of more than 80 per cent of the declining rentals market. Nomura paid pounds 980m for Thorn, the rentals group, last year and would be keen to combine it with Granada's business, which made a profit of pounds 92m in the year to last September. A sale would allow Granada, whose chairman is Gerry Robinson (pictured), to concentrate on its television, hotels and catering operations.