The consortium led by former Granada chief executive Steve Morrison and former ITV director of programmes David Liddiment have bought Chrysalis' TV production arm for a bumper£45m, writes Leigh Holmwood.

The consortium led by former Granada chief executive Steve Morrison and former ITV director of programmes David Liddiment have bought Chrysalis' TV production arm for a bumper£45m, writes Leigh Holmwood.

Analysts have questioned the high price of the deal, although the consortium - MBI Group that also includes former Granada managing director of operations Jules Burns - believed it was a "fair price".

MBI spokesman Richard Constant said: "It is at the top of our expectations but Chrysalis' profits were better than expected."

Last year the TV division brought in revenues of£39m or 37% of Chrysalis' group's total.

Chrysalis is expected to use the cash to build a war chest for a planned radio acquisition spree after the recently passed Communications Act relaxed the radio ownership laws.

The buy-out, backed by venture capitalist Bridgepoint Capital, sees Morrison and co take over programmes, such as Channel 4's Richard and Judyand ITV's Midsomer Murders, Ultimate Forceand Formula One coverage.

The group is now expected to turn their sights to other indies. Constant said: "Our first priority is actually getting the business and bedding it down but we see a lot of opportunities across the independent sector."

Talks have been underway between the consortium and Chrysalis about a sale since April. The deal is expected to be approved by Chrysalis shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting on 21 August.