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Friday, 26 November, 1999, 13:32 GMT
Hollick makes his move
Lord Hollick: Reputation for judicious buying and selling

The merger of United News & Media and Carlton Communications is the big move that many analysts have been waiting for from United's Lord Hollick.

He has often had the City scratching its head with a series of acquisitions and sales that have left United with a rather eclectic portfolio.

Its interests include newspapers, market research, trade shows, television, business magazines, news agencies and various other businesses more or less loosely tied to the media.

Since Lord Hollick's financial services and television company MAI joined Daily Express publisher United News in a 1996 3bn merger, the combined group has spent more than 2bn on acquisitions and raised more than half as much by selling.

The merger with Carlton puts United firmly in the broadcast camp - and with Lord Hollick's penchant for juggling his portfolio, it would be no surprise if some of the less relevant sections were to be sold off.

Lord Hollick has also never been afraid to make an unpopular decision when he feels it necessary - for example cutting 20m costs at Express Newspapers, and with it more than 150 journalists jobs.

The Labour peer also brings impressive contacts to the job.

He is close to the Prime Minister and his tenure has seen the Express swing from its traditional Conservative stance towards Tony Blair's New Labour.

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26 Nov 99 |  Business
8bn media merger agreed

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