Trans World surrenders to Emap after High Court ruling on takeover: Shareholders urged to accept 181p a share or risk losing opportunity to sell

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The Independent Online
TRANS World Communications, the independent commercial radio group, has capitulated to Emap and recommended the media group's pounds 71m bid.

Trans World said the offer of 181p a share did not reflect the company's 'improving performance and prospects' but warned shareholders that Emap's takeover was inevitable. The improvement was reflected in first-half figures yesterday showing pre-tax profits to 30 June up from pounds 254,000 to pounds 1.29m.

Trans World said that shareholders who did not accept the bid would, on the offer becoming unconditional, risk finding themselves minority shareholders in an Emap-controlled group with a limited market for their shares.

The High Court last week sealed the company's fate by approving a scheme that will allow Emap to increase the number of local licences it holds. Trans World holds five radio licences and a successful bid takes Emap's number of licences to eight, two more than the legal limit allowed for any one company. Emap intends to put two licences into a company jointly owned by Schroder, its merchant bankers, in a move approved by the Radio Authority.

The Guardian Media Group, which owns 20 per cent of Trans World, argued that such a move to circumvent the restrictions was illegal, but failed in its attempts to obtain a judicial review.

Emap owns 29.6 per cent of Trans World and has a further 23.1 per cent pledged by Owen Oyston, the media entrepreneur. Trans World, a holding company for Piccadilly Radio in Manchester, Red Dragon Radio in South Wales and others, saw turnover rise from pounds 5.7m to pounds 7.4m in the half-year.

This included a rise in airtime advertising sales from pounds 4.7m to pounds 6.2m. TWC had net cash slightly up at pounds 3.4m. There is no dividend.

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