Global Radio, the group behind Capital Radio, Heart and LBC, yesterday expanded its empire, as it paid an estimated £70m for GMG Radio, the owner of the Real and Smooth stations, whose DJs include Emma B.
The deal will be opposed by rival media groups worried about Global's position as the biggest commercial radio group in Britain.
Its founder Ashley Tabor, the son of the bookmaking mogul Michael Tabor, is hopeful of getting regulatory approval as GMG Radio has around 4.5 per cent of the total listening market.
Guardian Media Group, owner of GMG Radio, described the business as "non-core" and said that it wanted to focus on its newspapers.
Stuart Taylor, the chief executive of GMG Radio, leaves with immediate effect and is likely to receive a significant pay-off. He earned £471,000 last year.
GMG is set to take a write-down because GMG Radio was valued at £119m.