NTL says it has “no intention” of bidding for ITV

Cable giant NTL has confirmed it has “no present intention” of making an offer for ITV. The announcement comes three weeks after BSkyB bought a 17.9% stake in ITV for 960m in an apparent move to block any NTL bid…

ntlCable giant NTL has today (December 6) confirmed it has "no present intention" of making an offer for ITV.

The announcement to the stock exchange comes three weeks after rival BSkyB bought a 17.9% stake in ITV for £960m in an apparent move to block any NTL bid. The cable firm, which had tabled a merger proposal with ITV, now says any deal was unlikely to be attained on "acceptable terms".

NTL, which counts Virgin supremo Sir Richard Branson as its largest shareholder following this year’s acquisition of Virgin Mobile, has complained to regulators about Sky’s apparent spoiler tactics saying it raised "serious" competition issues.

The statement read: "The fact that Sky would spend nearly $2bn (£1bn) to acquire its stake immediately following the mere announcement of NTL’s proposed combination, before the ITV board had an opportunity to respond, highlights the magnitude of the competition issues involved."

But Sky insists it has done nothing wrong in buying the stake: current UK media ownership rules mean the satellite broadcaster is prevented from controlling more than 20% in ITV.

ITV rejected NTL’s £4.7bn bid last month, saying there was little strategic logic for it to combine with NTL, and that the offer materially undervalued ITV.

NTL says it would now concentrate on integrating its NTL and Telewest cable businesses and the Virgin Mobile division. The company is set to change its name to Virgin Media early next year, as first revealed by Marketing Week (MW September 21).

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here