Bennett Coleman and Company Ltd (BCCL) has acquired Virgin Radio Holdings from UK-based SMG Plc for a consideration of $106 million (Rs 448 crore). The deal is expected to be completed by June 2008.
BCCL officials have been quoted on saying that this was a good time to enter the UK and that the radio sector was a strong area to make a foray in.
Virgin Radio, a music station which operates under an FM licence in London and an AM licence in the rest of the UK, was acquired by TIML Golden Square Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BCCL. TIML, which will manage the station along with Irish company Absolute Radio, will invest £15 million in developing and re-launching the brand over the next few months. After a period of transition, the venture would not retail the Virgin brand name. Virgin Enterprises will retain the brand for its own global radio strategy.
Earlier in the year, SMG had reportedly put Virgin Radio up for sale as part of its plan to sell off non-core assets. Malaysian pay TV operator Astro All Asia Networks, Global Radio, Absolute Radio and UTV Media had been reported to be bidding for Virgin Radio.