Radio groups in £22m deal

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Radio group Bauer, owner of Forth, Clyde and Tay, has acquired Absolute Radio, formerly Virgin, for £22 million,

German firm Bauer owns numerous other stations, including Key 103 in Manchester and Metro Radio in Newcastle, as well as publishing magazines such as Grazia, Heat and Closer.

The deal marks another change in the fortunes of Absolute Radio, which started life as Virgin Radio and was once owned by presenter Chris Evans. He made his fortune by selling it to Glasgow-based Scottish Media Group, owner of STV and the Herald & Times.

The name was changed to Absolute in 2008 under the latest owners, the Times of India group. DJs at the station include comedian Frank Skinner and former footballer Ian Wright.

Absolute has a number of spin-off stations featuring music from different decades. Latest quarterly figures showed Absolute Radio reached 1.7 million listeners. The station said the whole network had 3.3 million listeners.

A spokesman said there were no plans for job cuts. He described previous reports that Absolute would be rebranded Planet Rock as speculation.

Paul Keenan, chief executive of Bauer Media UK, said: “We are looking forward to working with the award-winning team at Absolute Radio and have great respect for what it has achieved.

“Absolute Radio and its sister brands are loved by millions of UK consumers and by advertisers.”

Donnach O’Driscoll, chief executive of Absolute, said: “The Absolute Radio business has never been in better shape as we approach our fifth birthday.

“Bauer Media UK is a business that really cares about building famous media and entertainment brands and music radio in particular. This brand will continue to thrive as part of the Bauer group.”