UK media observers have wasted no time installing a favourite to win the race for the newspaper publishing assets of Glasgow-based media group SMG.

The prize is a group of local papers in western Scotland, including such titles as The Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times. SMG, which announced they were for sale earlier this week [WAMN: 11-Sep-02], is hoping for over £200 million ($310m; €319m) from the sale.

Tipped to triumph in the race is Johnston Press, Britain’s fourth biggest regional newspaper publisher, though Northcliffe Newspapers (a unit of Daily Mail & General Trust), US firm Newsquest and venture capital group Candover are also expected to line up at the starting gate.

Data sourced from: The Times (London); additional content by WARC staff