Murdoch's Megaphone to Take Wireless Group Private

15 February 2005

Kelvin Mackenzie, erstwhile editor of Rupert Murdoch's best-selling UK daily tabloid The Sun and now fronting the media mogul's lossmaking talk-radio venture, The Wireless Group, plans to take the latter private.

Backed by media oriented US investment bank Veronis Suhler Stevenson, the bombastic MacKenzie has notified the London Stock Exchange of his indicative bid for the broadcaster.

Reportedly, the deal has the blessing of TWG's two largest shareholders, the bickering US-based duo News Corporation and Liberty Media, respectively holding 24.5% and 26.7% of the company's stock. MacKenzie himself holds 6.42%.

Few will be surprised that moguls Malone and Murdoch are willing to wash their hands of the minnow which has yet to break out of the red since its IPO in May 2000. TWG accounts to April 2004 show a net loss of £11 million ($20.8m; €16.03m) - down from £19m in 2002.

A company statement confirmed it had "received a proposal regarding a possible cash offer" and has given MacKenzie until 21 March to submit a formal bid.

He has floated a likely offer price in the region of £0.90 per share - seen by many analysts as surprisingly low despite the company's poor financial performance. At the time of TWG's flotation its stock was valued at £1.90.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff