Real North Wales, Smooth North West, Smooth North East, Real Radio Yorkshire and Real XS Manchester have been bought by media holding company, Communicorp Group.
They’ve been acquired from Global Radio for an undisclosed sum on a brand licence model, which means that Global has licensed its brands to the new owners.
This means that the Real stations will be rebranded under the Heart franchise, while Real North Wales will join the Capital network.
“We are delighted to add these popular radio stations to the Group’s stable. It’s clear that the UK advertising market is buoyant, and this move will make us the 4th largest commercial radio group in the UK from a standing start,” stated Gervaise Slowey, Communicorp’s chief executive.
“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.”
The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals, but Communicorp has been approved by the Competition Commission as a “suitable owner of the divested stations.”
It all comes following Global Radio’s £70m acquisition of GMG in June 2012. The Competition Commission ruled that the company would have to sell 7 stations for the deal to go through. This was because it felt there would be reduced competition in certain areas, including the North West, South and West Yorkshire, the North East and North Wales.
“We are delighted to have agreed this deal with Communicorp so quickly. Most importantly the conclusion of this deal solidifies Global’s position as the number one commercial radio company in the UK, and enables our brands to continue to grow, extending their reach into all parts of the UK, making Global’s offering truly national. 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 advertiser,” added Stephen Miron, Global’s group CEO.
Communicorp has agreed for Global to represent their branded stations to national advertising agencies and advertisers, it will also be acquiring a number of other services from Global. Local Communicorp teams will sell local stations to advertisers in competition with Global.
Communicorp Group is the leading Irish commercial radio broadcaster and also operates the largest independent radio groups in both Latvia and Bulgaria. Prior to today’s news, it owned 19 stations in 4 countries.