MAM takes a 12.8% stake on Ulster TV


ONE of Britain's largest institutional investors, Mercury Asset Management, has acquired a 12.8 per cent stake in Ulster Television, making it by far the largest shareholder in the television station.

Mercury disclosed yesterday that it acquired 1,347,500 shares in UTV last week, bringing its stake from nil to 12.8 per cent. The confirmation of the buying from Mercury, which would have cost the British institution upwards of £17 million, coincided with further selling of the shares by the American investment group, Fidelity.

Fidelity disclosed earlier this week that it had sold 356,570 shares - half of its total holding - and disclosed yesterday it has sold a further 81,750 shares to take its stake down to 2.6 per cent. Another institutional investor, Grand Metropolitan Pensions, has increased its stake in UTV by 50,000 shares to 350,000 shares, or just under 3.1 per cent of the total equity.