Newspaper group Guardian Media Group is the latest company to be linked with a bid for Glasgow-based SMG’s publishing assets, put up for sale last week [WAMN: 11-Sep-02].
SMG is looking for upward of £200 million ($312m; €318m) for the unit, prime assets of which include the Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times regional titles. GMG chief executive Bob Phillis said the company was sizing up what was on offer.
If GMG does decide to make a bid, one factor that may work against it is that the acquisition would take its total circulation above 500,000, the level at which competition authorities are obliged to launch an inquiry.
Indeed, some media observers believe the possibility of regulatory scrutiny will deter SMG from selling to any newspaper company. The Scottish group wants to name a preferred bidder before the start of December, though a competition probe could prolong the process until next summer.
Data sourced from: MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff