Ulster TV Investors Give Nod to Radio Deal

09 June 2005

The multimillion pound takeover of UK radio company The Wireless Group by Ulster Television nears finalization.

The £98.2 million ($179.9m; €146.5m) deal between the Northern Irish broadcaster and TWG, owner of UK national radio station TalkSport, has gained approval from UTV shareholders.

It now awaits a decision from Irish minister Michael Martin on whether competition authorities in the the neighbouring Irish Republic should investigate the acquisition.

TWG, jointly owned by media moguls Rupert Murdoch and John Malone through News Corporation and Liberty Media respectively, is the object of desire of its ceo and chairman, Kelvin McKenzie. But his bid to buy the business, which also owns a raft of local radio stations, was thwarted after finances failed to materialise.

However, McKenzie, a former tabloid newspaper editor, will walk away from TWG £6.9m richer from his 6.4% stake in the business plus an £800k pay-off.

Data sourced from MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff