Bauer Media, the owner of media brands such as Heat and radios stations including Kiss and Magic, has agreed an estimated £20-£25m deal to buy Absolute Radio, according to reports.
The deal is still subject to regulatory clearance with existing Absolute Radio owner Bennett, Coleman and Co reportedly having put the station, formerly known as Virgin Radio, on the market as long ago as 2011.
Neither party has confirmed an exact fee for the deal, nor have they detailed how it will be absorbed into Bauer Media.
Although Paul Keenan, Bauer Media CEO described the Absolute Radio brand as “complementary” to Bauer’s existing portfolio of stations, and he also took note of its “renowned digital assets”.
He added: “Absolute Radio and its sister brands are loved by millions of UK consumers and by advertisers. This acquisition will be an opportunity to learn and share across both businesses.”
Meanwhile, Donnach O’Driscoll, Absolute Radio CEO, added: “Bauer Media UK is a business that really cares about building famous media and entertainment brands and music radio in particular. This brand will continue to thrive as part of the Bauer group.”
The latest RAJAR statistics revealed Absolute Radio’s total listening hours increased 9.2 per cent from the previous quarter, totalling 25.7 million hours in the first three months of the year.
The Absolute Radio brand appears best-placed to sit within Bauer Media’s “Passion Portfolio” which recorded 6.7 million weekly listeners, according to the last RAJAR release. This figure rose to 13.7 million weekly listeners when taking into account Bauer Media’s local radio station portfolio.