Mid Anglia Radio board backs pounds 3.5m GWR offer

GWR looks to have snatched loss- making Mid Anglia Radio from under the nose of its neighbour, East Anglia Radio, adding to the pace of commercial radio consolidation.

GWR, in which Capital Radio has a near-20 per cent stake, has won the support of Mid Anglia's board for a pounds 3.5m offer in cash or shares, significantly higher than the pounds 2m East Anglia Radio was prepared to pay when talks foundered 18 months ago. A few weeks ago East Anglia wrote to Mid Anglia to suggest negotiations re-start, but no talks were held.

Nevertheless, the fate of the bid lies with Emap, the publishing group, and Anglia TV, owned by MAI. Each holds 20 per cent of both Mid Anglia and East Anglia. Emap favours consolidation in general - it was said to be behind the East Anglia approach to Mid Anglia - but is blocked from boosting its own stake beyond 20 per cent as it has local newspapers in the same region.

Emap and Anglia TV now have the choice of cash or shares - so acquiring a stake in GWR - or potentially jointly blocking the bid, which requires 75 per cent approval. So far, GWR has irrevocable acceptances from just over 50 per cent of the shareholders.

Richard Winfrey, Emap's representative on the Mid Anglia board, abstained from voting on the deal, saying he faced a conflict of interest. But Tim Schoonmaker, head of Emap's radio interests, said no decision had yet been made.

The offer is 450p in cash or 0.53257 shares in GWR for each Mid Anglia share. At the GWR closing price of 880p, up 5p, that equates to 469p. The cash alternative is being financed with a mix of bank facilities and new shares.

About 47,965 new shares have been placed with the Daily Mail and General Trust, which has just under 20 per cent of GWR, and 176,661 with Fidelity Investments.

If successful, the bid will mean that GWR holds 21 local radio licences - one more than allowed. But Ralph Bernard, chief executive, said it was well advanced on the sale of one of its Asian stations.

Mid Anglia, with licences in Peterborough, Cambridge, Newmarket and Kings Lynn, lost pounds 12,186 on turnover of pounds 2.14m in 1993. Mr Bernard said investment in programming and technology would make it as profitable as the group's other stations.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Reach Volunteering: Trustee – PR& Marketing, Social Care, Commercial skills

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Age Concern Slough a...

Reach Volunteering: Charity Treasurer

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Crossroads Care is s...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35,000: SThree: We consistently strive to be ...

Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CADIS) Developer

£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible