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Wednesday, March 10, 1999 Published at 17:34 GMT

Business: The Company File

Carlton buys Planet 24

Planet 24's output includes The Big Breakfast

Planet 24, the independent television production company, co-founded by singer Bob Geldof, has been bought by the ITV group Carlton.

Neither Carlton nor Planet 24 would put a firm figure on the deal, but City analysts reckoned the business was worth around £15m.

Carlton is worth £4bn, and its status will now be enhanced as a breakfast broadcaster.

Former Boomtown Rat and Live Aid organiser Geldof and his two partners Lord Alli and Charlie Parsons each own a third of the company which makes Channel 4's The Big Breakfast.

£5m each for owners

Mr Geldof appears set to receive £5m for the deal. Waheed Alli, who was made a peer last summer, will join the board of Carlton as managing director of Carlton Productions.

Lord Alli said combining Planet 24 with Carlton's size and commercial operation made for "boundless" opportunities.

[ image: Bob Geldof: Planet 24 changed the look of television]
Bob Geldof: Planet 24 changed the look of television
Geldof said he was as proud of Planet 24 as anything he had ever done.

He said: "This one company managed to shift the way television looked so that nowadays our screens are awash with Planet 24 wannabe programming."

Bob Geldof and Charlie Parsons will keep up their close association with the company and are understood to be working on programme ideas.

Since being founded in 1992 Planet 24 has boosted the careers of a host of British TV celebrities including Chris Evans, Mark Lamarr, Dani Behr, Gaby Roslin and most recently Johnny Vaughan and Denise Van Outen.

Big Breakfast to Watercolour Challenge

Planet 24 employs 250 staff and makes programmes for terrestrial, satellite and cable TV as well as radio.

Its terrestrial output alone is 600 hours of programming a year.

As well as The Big Breakfast the company makes Gaytime TV for the BBC, The Best of the Word and Watercolour challenge for Channel 4.

A raft of other new programmes are also being developed.

Carlton currently spends around £200m a year on programmes for its own ITV companies Carlton and Central as well as for the BBC and Channel 4.

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10 Mar 99 | Entertainment
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