International media holding company, Communicorp Group Limited, today announced the proposed acquisition of eight regional radio stations from Global Radio, in the UK.
Smooth East Midlands, Smooth North West, Smooth North East, Capital Scotland, Capital South Wales, Real Radio North Wales, Real Radio Yorkshire and Real XS, are set to become part of Communicorp’s international portfolio – subject to regulatory approvals. The sale is taking place under the supervision of the UK’s Competition Commission and Communicorp has been approved by the Competition Commission as a suitable owner of the divested stations. The sale is also subject to the approval of the Competition Authority in Ireland as a media merger.
Under an innovative brand licensing agreement, Communicorp intends to re-brand the ‘Real’ stations under the ‘Heart’ franchise and plans to re-launch the ‘Smooth’ stations following the reintroduction of local programming. Communicorp is committed to supporting Capital in Scotland and South Wales and across the portfolio, and plans to extend its position in Digital Audio Broadcasting, to allow for the localisation of advertising and support the migration to digital listening.
Speaking today, Communicorp Chief Executive, Gervaise Slowey, said: “We have been looking at the UK market for some time now and we are delighted to be adding these radio stations to the Communicorp Group. Each of these stations has a strong and loyal following and this move will make Communicorp the fourth largest commercial radio group, in the UK. The brand licence agreement that we have in place with Global for Heart, Capital and Smooth will allow us to combine the strength of a national brand, with a local presence. We feel that this will provide the best customer offerings to each of the stations’ audiences.”
The eight stations have 2.8 million listeners combined, according to Radio Joint Audience Research. On completion of the transaction, Communicorp intends to retain the experienced management team of Real & Smooth Limited. Mark Lee will remain CEO and continue to lead the business.
Also speaking today, Lucy Gaffney, Communicorp Chairperson, said: “This acquisition will bring the total number of radio stations, under the Communicorp umbrella, to 27. It further reinforces Communicorp’s position as an international market leader in the commercial radio industry – with a strong presence in Ireland, Bulgaria, Latvia, Jordan and now, the UK. We are constantly looking at opportunities to grow our business and this move into the UK was a natural fit for us. These eight radio stations have shown great resilience in recent years and we look forward to continuing to drive each station to their full potential.”
For further information about Communicorp, visit www.communicorp.ie
Media queries:James Morrissey, +353 86 255 0487 Neal Cummins, FleishmanHillard, +353 1 6188444 / +353 87 629 1091
Notes to Editors:
About Communicorp Group
Founded in 1989 Communicorp Group Limited operates a portfolio of media and radio assets in Ireland, Europe and Jordan. It is the leading Irish commercial radio broadcaster. In addition, it operates the largest independent radio groups in Latvia and Bulgaria. Prior to the completion of the Real & Smooth Radio acquisition, Communicorp’s network comprises 19 stations in four countries.
About Global Radio
When it comes to radio in the UK, we haven’t just created an impact; we’ve shaken and rocked the whole industry to the core. We have a saying at Global – ‘National Brands, delivered locally’ – and it’s at the core of everything we do at Global Radio. Our brands are clear and simple – Heart, Capital, Capital XTRA, Classic FM, Smooth, LBC, Xfm and Gold – broadcast to 20 million* listeners each week from every area and to every demographic.