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Wednesday, 15 March, 2000, 13:52 GMT
Radio group sets sights on TV
Radio mast
SRH has 13 radio stations in Scotland
Scottish Radio Holdings, the rapidly-expanding broadcasting and newspaper group, has launched a 116m bid for Carlisle-based Border Television.

SRH, which owns 13 radio services across Scotland including Radio Clyde, Radio Forth and Northsound in Aberdeen, is setting its sights on a move into television.

It gives shareholders the opportunity to participate in today's rapidly changing media marketplace

Richard Findlay
Border Television is in a unique position. Its broadcast area includes part of southern Scotland and a section of northern England.

It has been at the centre of take-over speculation for years but has always resisted any approaches, public or otherwise. As such, it has remained one of the few remaining "independent" ITV broadcasters.

Radio interests

Border, which reported pre-tax profits of 725,000 in the year to April 1999, also owns four commercial radio stations. SRH says these would be incorporated into its radio division.

SRH chief executive Richard Findlay said: "We believe that Border needs to be part of a large and powerful media group to develop its media assets and to enhance shareholder value. This is a full and fair offer.

"It gives shareholders the opportunity to participate in today's rapidly changing media marketplace by combining SRH and Border's strong radio brands while exploiting the exciting opportunities in digital radio, the internet and e-commerce.

Border TV
The company is in a unique position
"At the same time, more can be made of the television operation within a fast-moving sector, poised in anticipation of regulatory change."

Mr Findlay added that although SRH was a Scottish-based company, it had wider aspirations.

Its business interests include press and outdoor advertising and operations in Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

In the year to September 1999, SRH reported pre-tax profits of 15.7m on a turnover of 55.1m.

Border Television Managing Director, Paul Corley, was unavailable to comment on the take-over bid.

A spokesman said the company would make no public statement until after it had lodged a preliminary response with the City on Wednesday afternoon.

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