Weekend Papers: Indie Owner; Tiscali Nears Sale; EMI’s Levy Goes TV

Independent owner: Irish telecoms tycoon Denis O’Brien plans to mount a full takeover bid for Tony O’Reilly’s Independent News & Media “in the coming weeks” and sell The Independent, a source told The Observer. O’Brien took his stake to 22.15 percent last week, ahead of the 30 percent that would force a mandatory takeover offer. The source: “He isn’t intending to sit on the sidelines with his tanks on their lawn for ever and a day.”

Tiscali nears sale: Tiscali expects to find a buyer before its AGM on April 29, reported the Milano Finanza in the ISP/telco’s native Italy. It’s eyeing a price of three to 3.3 euros per share, but some separate offers have also been made for its UK business, which last year gobbled up Pipex. The paper said Vodaone, France Telecom (NYSE: FTE), Deutsche Telekom (NYSE: DT), Swisscom and Wind were interested, though Italy’s own Telecom Italia is interested in the UK unit. (Via Thomson).

EMI’s Levy goes TV: Former EMI recorded music boss Alain Levy has teamed with former Endemol France chief Stephane Courbit to get funding for Banjay Entertainment, with which they aim to buy several European TV production houses in time for launch in June, the Sunday Times reported. They have so fair raised 330 million euros and have also teamed with French luxury goods house LVMH’s boss Bernard Arnault, with whom Courbit bid for – and lost out on – Endemol last year.