Mirror to sell Scottish Media stake

MIRROR GROUP, the newspaper publisher, yesterday put Scottish Media Group into play when it unveiled plans to offload its 18.5 per cent stake in the newspaper and television group.

John Allwood, Mirror's chief executive, said the shareholding was no longer a core part of the group. "It needs to be disposed of," he said. "The timing depends on whether anyone makes us a good enough bid."

Yesterday Regional Independent Media, the newspaper publisher whose 200p a share bid for Mirror Group was rejected, said it was considering a cash offer for Mirror Group. It followed its rival Trinity by asking the Department of Trade and Industry to refer its interest in Mirror to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

Mr Allwood said Mirror had held talks with several interested bidders for SMG, adding that the shareholding might be sold for more than its current market value of pounds 106m. "I would like to think there was a premium to be paid for such a large stake," he said.

SMG, which owns the Scottish Television and Grampian ITV franchises as well as the Glasgow Herald, has long been seen as a takeover target for one of the larger ITV companies.

Analysts said the obvious bidder would be United News & Media, which is keen to expand its television interests and could combine the newspaper division with its Express titles. Carlton is also likely to be interested, but competition rules would prevent Granada from mounting a full takeover.

Flextech, the supplier of television channels, also has an 18.5 per cent stake in SMG, which it may want to sell for the right price. Combined with the Mirror shareholding, the stake could provide a perfect bid platform.

Analysts said a successful takeover of SMG would have to be pitched at more than pounds 12 per share. However, SMG is thought to be keen to hang on to its independence. Yesterday, shares in SMG rose 5p to 880p.

Mirror's decision to sell is one of the results of the strategic review conducted by Mr Allwood following his appointment as chief executive in January. Other conclusions include plans to sell the company's property development in Holborn.

Mirror also plans to stop investing in L!ve TV. Plans to relaunch the Sporting Life as a daily sports paper have been scrapped.

The conclusions were announced as Mirror reported a 9 per cent increase in pre-exceptional pre-tax profits to pounds 100m for the 53 weeks to 3 January.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Financial Director / FD / Senior Finance Manager

Up to 70k DOE: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Financial Director ...

Recruitment Genius: Junior / Apprentice Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£11000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This financial company offer ma...

SThree: Recruitment Consultant

competitive + incentives + uncapped comms: SThree: Did you know? 98% of our di...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

competitive: SThree: Did you know? 98% of our directors started with SThree as...

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen