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City speculates on STV takeover by ITV

Speculation over the future of STV among investors has fuelled a recent rise in the share price of the Scottish broadcaster.

Earlier this year, STV chief executive Simon Pitts ruled out a sale of the business, amidst a cost-cutting and streamlining exercise, which saw STV2 being closed and a restructure of STV News taking place.

STV controls the Channel 3 licences for Central and Northern Scotland, in addition to operating  productions and digital sales businesses.

The Times reports investors viewing the company as being "cheap", making it "an attractive prospect for a would-be buyer."  As a result of the speculation in the City, STV's share price rose steeply on Tuesday.

Recent changes in the STV's operational focus has also been interpreted in the City as STV management preparing the company for sale. ITV plc is still seen as the most likely company to want to buy STV, a move that would give a single company entire control over the Channel 3 network for the first time.

STV has not responded to the speculation.