News Corp reluctant to let Brexit quash UK business as it snaps up TalkSport owner Wireless Group
Rupert Murdoch’s media giant Newscorp has swept in to buy Wireless Group which owns popular stations TalkSport and Virgin Radio.
TalkSport is one of the UK's leading radio sports shows
Pitching in £220.3m ($290.3m), the company said: “Wireless represents an excellent strategic fit with its existing operations, broadening News Corp’s range of services in the UK, Ireland and internationally.”
Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp said: “The proposed investment is a clear sign of our commitment to, and belief in, the United Kingdom as a place to do business successfully and profitably.
“With its strength in radio, as well as its digital and international growth potential, Wireless will help improve the engagement of our publishing brands, especially those within News UK.”
He added that the company has seen a new lease of life since “the sale of its television assets last year”.
The plan is also to make good use of Wireless' portfolio of radio and digital audio sports rights, including the Premier League, globally, “We believe the businesses together can be far more than the sum of their parts".
On the acquisition, a number of media figures tweeted.
— Joel Lewin (@JoelLewin) June 30, 2016
When completed, will give @newscorp global audio rights to the English Premier League as well. #EPL #PremierLeague https://t.co/2ddl6Bnre4 — Raju Narisetti (@raju) June 30, 2016
Big premium being paid by News Corp to get Wireless. 70% on Wireless closing yesterday. Presume it's all about getting hands on TalkSport.
— Ian Guider (@ianguider) June 30, 2016
Rupert Murdoch's @newscorp strikes UK deal amid #Brexit turmoil https://t.co/BhrXcWgxmr — Arash Massoudi (@ArashMassoudi) June 30, 2016
News Corp just bought @talkSPORT owners Wireless Group for £220m....All part of diversification plan to reduce reliance on print
— David Bond (@DJBond6873) June 30, 2016
Wireless Group rebranded Virgin Radio earlier this year for an audience somewhere between BBC Radio 1 and Radio 2.