The GWR Group is to acquire most of the Daily Mail & General Trust’s radio interests in the DMG Radio Group for &£146m. The deal, mostly in shares, means DMGT will increase its stake in GWR from 18.8 to 26.9 per cent.
The acquisition puts GWR in a strong position to capitalise on consolidation in the radio industry.
The company aims to build its audience share through the cross-promotion of brands and to realise “significant” cost savings and revenue enhancements worth &£32m in the first year of ownership.
A GWR extraordinary general meeting on June 30 will seek approval for the proposed acquisition. The purchase includes eight UK radio licences in the East of England and outskirts of London, including Essex FM and Mercury FM, targeting 3.9 million adults.
GWR will also gain a 25 per cent stake in DMG Radio Group’s 58 Australian local licences, a new Sydney licence – which together potentially cover 36 per cent of the Australian population – and Hungary’s largest commercial radio station.
DMGT director of new media Peter Williams will join the GWR board as a non-executive director.
Last month, the two companies announced the development of joint local Internet portal sites, where GWR radio stations and DMGT local newspapers can combine content, promotion and advertising sales.
Cross-marketing and listener/ readership promotions will be developed between Classic FM and the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, GWR local stations and Northcliffe Newspapers, and London News Radio and the Evening Standard and Metro.
DMGT’s cable TV channel, The Performance Channel, is to be relaunched as Classic FM TV in December.