Scotland's SMG and UTV Return to Negotiating Table

13 December 2006

GLASGOW: King Robert the Bruce of Scotland's oft quoted maxim, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try, and try again", has inspired ailing Scottish broadcast group SMG to re-enter merger negotiations with Northern Ireland TV company UTV.

In the wake of two failed attempts [WARC News: 22-Sept-06] SMG, the owner of two Scottish ITV franchises and Virgin Radio, finds itself at a disadvantage.

A deal now would gain its shareholders just 48% of a combined £400 million ($784m; €592m) group, substantially less than than the 52% offer it rejected in August.

SMG insiders says its weaker negotiating position reflects that "things had changed" due to downturns in TV advertising revenues.

UTV ceo John McCann, who made the latest approach on November 23, would run the merged group, following the ousting of SMG head honcho Andrew Flanagan in July.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff