Global Radio sells 8 regional stations to Communicorp in £35m deal as Real Radio becomes Heart

By Gillian West | Social media manager

February 6, 2014 | 3 min read

Global Radio has sold eight of its regional radio stations to Irish radio company Communicorp in deal valued at around £35m.

Global has sold eight of its stations

The sale follows an earlier ruling from the Competition Commission which demanded Global sell off a number of its assets following the purchase of GMG Radio in June 2012. The Competition Commission has approved Communicorp as a suitable owner of the stations, making it the fourth-largest commercial radio group in the UK.

The stations sold include Capital South Wales, Capital Scotland, Smooth East Midlands, Smooth North West, Smooth North East, Real North Wales, Real Yorkshire and Real XS Manchester, the sale includes a brand licence model.

Of the deal, Stephen Miron, group CEO at Global, said: “We are delighted to have agreed this deal with Communicorp so quickly…[the deal] enables our brands to continue to grow, extending their reach into all parts of the UK, making Global’s offering truly national.”

Communicorp chief executive, Gervaise Slowey, revealed the group had “been looking at the UK market for some time now” and was “delighted to be adding the stations to the Communicorp Group.

“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.”

All existing Real stations are to be relaunched as Heart.

Miron added: “The future launch of Heart in five new regions, Smooth in many new regions and a new Capital in North Wales is particularly exciting and enables us to continue our strategy of ‘national brands delivered locally.’ This is great news for listeners and advertisers.”

In addition to the brand licence agreement, Commuicorp has agreed with Global to represent its branded stations to national advertising agencies and advertisers and will also be acquiring a number of other services from Global. Communicorp local sales teams will sell the stations to local advertisers, in competition with Global at the local level.

Communicorp chairman Lucy Gaffney said the deal would bring Communicorp’s total number of stations to 27, owning stations in Ireland, Bulgaria, Latvia, Jordan and now the UK. Its Irish stations include Newstalk, 98FM, Spin 1038 and Today FM. Completion of this deal is subject to Irish Competition Authority review as a media merger, which should be undertaken in the next eight weeks.

The announcement of the sale follows the publishing of today's Rajar figures which revealed listenership for all Real Radio stations was down.

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