SMG brushes off bid speculation

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SCOTTISH MEDIA Group, owners of Scottish Television and the Glasgow Herald, yesterday brushed off talk of an impending takeover and warned that a bidder would have to pay up, writes Peter Thal Larsen.

"I've been with this company five years and every month there's been a different takeover rumour," said Andrew Flanagan, SMG chief executive.

Speculation has swirled around SMG since last week when Mirror Group announced plans to sell its 18.5 per cent stake, seen as a possible launch pad for a rival ITV company bid.

Mr Flanagan said SMG had offered to help place the stake with institutional shareholders for Mirror. However, Mirror hopes to achieve a premium by selling to a possible bidder.

SMG reported a 12 per cent rise in underlying pre-tax profits to pounds 46m in the year to December.