SMG (Scottish Media Group) is set to hang a £480 million ($755.01m; €748.97m) price ticket on it ITV franchises – nearly six times the current market value of the entire group. The franchise assets comprise Scottish Television, Grampian Television and a 20% stake in ITV breakfast-time licensee GMTV.
The assets have been housed into a single subsidiary unit named SMG Broadcasting – a tasty morsel if the price is right for German media group Bertelsmann which has lately been building a warchest.
Other interested buyers could include ITV’s dominant duo Carlton Communications and Granada Media – while there could also be US-based contenders depending on whether or not the government bows to the storm of opposition to non-EU ownership of British media.
The entrail-rakers are divided as to whether SMG will achieve anything near to its asking price. Merrill Lynch (the impartiality of whose opinions have recently been open to question) estimates the assets as worth £395m; whereas peer seer Schroder Salomon Smith Barney believes they will fetch up to £460m.
Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff