Posted on Thursday 30 June 2016 by Ulster Business

Murdoch buys former utv radio stations

Rupert Murdoch, owner of News Corp

One of the world’s most formidable media tycoons has bought the radio stations previously owned by UTV for £220m.

News Corp, owned by Rupert Murdoch, has taken ownership of Wireless Group - which counts Belfast-based U105 as well as talkSPORT and 19 other stations throughout the UK in its stable – in a deal which sees the final part of UTV Media sold.

Wireless Group was a new company formed last year when ITV bought UTV’s television assets.

News Corp owns media companies around the world including The Sun, The Times and The Wall Street Journal newspapers.

Rebekah Brooks, Chief Executive of News UK and former editor of The News of the World, said the deal presented a number of synergies for News Corp.

“The Wireless Group represents an opportunity for us to take advantage of its strong radio presence to build on our growing digital success story and to bring some of the best journalistic and broadcasting talent into one group,” he said. "This acquisition will allow us to increase engagement for both businesses through the cross promotion of our brands and the use of our respective talent.”

And she hinted that the group would be investing in the Wireless Group.

“We also look forward to collaborating in the expansion of the Wireless Group's digital audio and international assets, which offer new opportunities for our businesses in the UK and globally."

Richard Huntingford, Executive  Chairman of Wireless Group, said the deal was a good deal for shareholders.

“Shareholders receive an immediate and certain cash value for their shares which not only represents a very significant premium to the current share price, but also fully recognises the long-term prospects and growth potential of Wireless; News Corp's proven track record of investing in content that drives audiences will significantly benefit Wireless' listeners and advertisers; and, the excellent strategic fit and complementariness of the Wireless business to News Corp's operations will provide great opportunities for Wireless' management, employees and talent.”

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