Communicorp buys eight UK radio stations

Global Radio has sold eight radio stations to Denis O’Brien’s Communicorp after the UK group was told to sell a number of radio stations by the UK Competition Commission.

The stations bought are Smooth Radio North West, North East and East Midlands, along with Capital South Wales, Real Radio North Wales, Capital Scotland, Real Radio Yorkshire and Real XS Manchester.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval and is reported to be worth £35m.

And whilst the stations will operate under new owners and sell local airtime, national sales and non-peak programming will still be provided by Global Radio under a franchise agreement.

Communicorp will become a major player in UK radio, operating Heart, Capital and Smooth stations under the franchise.

Global Radio originally bought the assets of GMG Radio in June 2012 but has been through the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission before being told to sell stations in seven areas of the UK which would have caused a Substantial Lessening of Competition.

Gervaise Slowey, Communicorp’s Chief Executive commented: “We are delighted to add these popular radio stations to the Group’s stable. It’s clear that the UK advertising market is buoyant, and this move will make us the 4th largest commercial radio group in the UK from a standing start. The brand licence agreement that we have in place with Global for Heart, Capital and Smooth will allow us to combine the clout of a national brand with local presence, and we feel this model will provide the best of both worlds to our listeners and our customers.”

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