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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 August 2006, 14:22 GMT 15:22 UK
'More bids' for Virgin Radio firm
Radio DJ talking into microphone
SMG and UTV have major commercial radio interests
SMG, owner of Virgin Radio and the Scottish broadcaster STV, is set to receive further takeover bids, according to reports.

On Friday it said it had received a 50:50 merger proposal from TalkSport owner Ulster Television (UTV).

However former Channel Four executive Rob Woodward is putting together a cash offer for SMG, The Business said.

Meanwhile UTV would be keen on a counter bid from SMG, the Sunday Telegraph suggested.

And investment group 3i and the private equity arm of UBS had a sounded out a 300m bid for STV, The Observer said.

Speculation

Under Friday's UTV approach, both firms would own 50% of the merged company.

However the lack of cash in the UTV proposal may put off SMG shareholders, analysts say, given UTV is worth around 40m less than the Glasgow-based group.

If SMG was keen on a counter-bid it could end up with 55% of the enlarged company, the Sunday Telegraph report suggests.

Both firms have major radio interests. Last year UTV bought the Wireless Group which included TalkSport and 16 independent radio stations including Juice FM in Liverpool and Swansea Sound.

SMG's other assets include cinema advertising business Pearl & Dean and TV production firm Ginger Productions.

There had been speculation for some time that UTV is interested in a move for SMG - uniting the two main parts of Britain's main commercial TV network which aren't owned by ITV.


SEE ALSO
Merger move for Virgin Radio firm
18 Aug 06 |  Business
Scottish Media Group head resigns
18 Jul 06 |  Scotland
SMG fades out Grampian TV brand
30 May 06 |  North East/N Isles
UTV is in talks to buy Talksport
19 Apr 05 |  Business

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