Scottish Media in pounds 105m bid to buy Grampian

ITV companies looked set for a further round of consolidation yesterday as Scottish Media Group, formerly Scottish Television, confirmed it was in talks about acquiring its neighbour, Grampian Television, for pounds 105m.

Scottish said discussions may lead to a deal being struck at around 320p a share. The price would top City expectations as analysts have in the past claimed the company would be worth no more than pounds 100m, or around 300p a share. The offer is also significantly above Grampian's year- high price of 291.5p and its closing price last Friday of 265p.

Rumours of the takeover have been circulating for some time and intensified last October when Scottish sold its 20 per cent stake in HTV to Lord Hollick's United News & Media. The sale gave Scottish a pounds 73.6m cash-pile which observers widely expected would be used to consolidate its position north of the border.

Talks between Scottish and Grampian at the end of last year reportedly broke down after the two companies failed to agree on price. However, the pair already enjoy a certain level of co-operation with their joint interactive service, OKTV.

The deal, if it goes ahead, would be the latest in a wave of mergers in the television sector, made possible by the 1996 Broadcasting Act which revised the rules on media ownership.

Carlton Communications bought Westcountry Television for pounds 85m last autumn and Granada is expected to make a bid for Yorkshire-Tyne Tees Television. Scottish has itself been mentioned as a target, and has been busily expanding over the past year to avoid being taken over.

Last July it announced the pounds 120m acquisition of Caledonian Newspapers, publisher of the Glasgow-based Herald.

It has also been rumoured that Gus Macdonald, chairman of Scottish, and Andrew Flanagan, managing director, would be keen to expand southwards by buying their other neighbour, Border Television.

A spokesman confirmed last night that the board of Scottish and Grampian had met to discuss a possible merger. He added that a further announcement would be made "as soon as appropriate".

However, he would not be drawn on the size of inevitable cost-cutting, nor the implications for its two main shareholders, Flextech, the cable programme supplier, and Mirror Group, both of which own a 20 per cent stake in Scottish.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
The cartoon depicts the UK (far left) walking around a Syrian child refugee
newsIn an exclusive artwork for The Independent, Ali Ferzat attacks Britain's lack of 'humanity'
Life and Style
Man taking selfie in front of car
health
Sport
footballManager attacks Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp after criticism of Diego Costa's apparent stamping
Life and Style
food + drink
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
British author Helen Macdonald, pictured with Costa book of the year, 'H is for Hawk'
booksPanel hail Helen Macdonald's 'brilliantly written, muscular prose'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Frozen out: despite being filmed in Iceland, 'Fortitude' is set further north, in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard
tvGerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Life and Style
Carmen Khu from The Royal China Club pours a cup of Dai-Hong-Po tea
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
film
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

£16500 - £16640 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Finance compa...

Ashdown Group: Client Services Manager - Relationship Management - London

£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Recruitment Genius: Credit Controller / Customer Service

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...

Guru Careers: In-House / Internal Recruiter

£25 - 28k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An In-house / Internal Recruiter is needed to...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore