Ulster TV Tunes Into TGW Bid

21 April 2005

The tussle for ownership of UK radio company, The Wireless Group, has taken a new turn with reports that Ulster Television is close to inking a £100 million ($191m, €147m) deal.

If successful, UTV, which broadcasts television and radio and supplies internet and telecoms services across Ireland, will find itself the owner of the UK's national talkSPORT station and 16 local radio stations.

TWG, jointly controlled by media moguls Rupert Murdoch and John Malone through News Corporation and Liberty Media respectively, has been the object of desire of its ceo and chairman Kelvin McKenzie.

The former editor of Murdoch's successful UK tabloid, The Sun, loudly announced in February that he wanted to buy TWG, but the finances failed to materialise. He owns just over 6% of the company and would pocket around £6m from a UTV deal.

The radio sector has seen a trend toward consolidation in recent months, as witnessed by the agreed £711m merger between Capital and GWR, while publisher EMAP confirmed earlier this month it is in talks to buy Scottish Radio Holdings.

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