Ulster TV directors buy pounds 9m shares to thwart bid
Friday 22 August 1997
Ulster Television's directors yesterday moved to stave off a possible hostile bid from Scottish Media by spending more than pounds 9m buying just over 8 per cent of the company's shares.
Ulster also announced it was considering returning the majority of its pounds 12m cash pile to investors through a share buy-back. However Scottish Media retaliated by stepping up the pressure on Ulster and increasing its stake in the group to 18.2 per cent from just under 15 per cent.
Ulster held a board meeting on Wednesday, where the directors decided to bring forward the announcement of the company's interim results in the light of Scottish Media's raid on its shares last week, when it purchased of 13.1 per cent of Ulster. It is thought the directors decided to buy more shares because they feared Scottish would look to increase its stake further. John McGuckian, Ulster's chairman, was the biggest buyer, purchasing 4 million shares at a cost of more than pounds 8m.
Under Takeover Panel rules, Scottish was prevented from buying further shares for seven days after last week's dawn raid. That time limit expired yesterday, and Scottish took the chance to increase its shareholding. Scottish refused to rule out the possibility of a full bid.
One analyst said: "It's a little bit of macho posturing, but ultimately they could buy back the whole company. Scottish has certainly had a slap in the face on this one."
There was intense speculation last night about how the directors were financing the purchases. One analyst said the cash repayment arising from a share buy-back could be used to cover interest costs incurred by the directors if they had borrowed money to buy the shares.
However, Desmond Smyth, Ulster's managing director, said there was no link between the buy-back and the directors' share purchases. The directors collectively now own 10.6 per cent of the company.
Ulster announced a 22 per cent decline in pre-tax profits to pounds 3.64m for the half year to June.
When it comes to promoting equality of the sexes, we tend to think that we’ve come a long way in the past 40 years.
- 2 Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Anti-gay hate preacher accidentally tweets 4,000 followers cartoon clip of him 'confessing' to be a 'homosexual sodomite'
Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Kenya bus attack: Al-Shabaab militants slaughter 28 non-Muslims who failed to recite Koran
That Sugar Film director Damon Gameua receives shocking diagnosis after going on healthy sugar diet for just 60 days
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Myleene Klass: Ed Miliband 'strikes back' by comparing UK's need for Labour's mansion tax to Hear'Say track
iJobs Money & Business
Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Age Concern Slough a...
Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Crossroads Care is s...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35,000: SThree: We consistently strive to be ...
£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...