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M&A Rumour Mill: ITV Tempts Apax, Hearst Ups Emap Interest

From the Sunday papers…

ITV: Private equity super-house Apax is interested in making another bid for ITV, anonymous “sources” tell the Financial Mail. Apax circled the broadcaster with big online ambitions back in 2005 as part of a bid mounted by Greg Dyke along with Time-Warner and Goldman. ITV’s (LSE: ITV) share price has since slid further and a new swoop could be eased if the Competition Commission forces BSkyB (NYSE: BSY) to sell its 17.9 percent stake in ITV. Update: Other Apax “sources” deny it (via Thomson).

Emap: Former CEO Robin Miller is teaming with private equity group Exponent to mount a bid for the group’s specialist magazines from the consumer division (and, along with it, several web properties), Comtex reports, but The Times reckons it’s Hearst that’s talking with Exponent about such a joint effort. Duncan Edwards, CEO of Hearst’s UK NatMags subsidiary, has already met the PE house and is due to do so again, the paper says, adding Cinven has pulled out of the race for the consumer division but remains interested in the more-valued B2B unit.