Another major British radio merger is in the offing following the recent marriage of Capital Radio and GWR.

Multimedia giant Emap, which owns London pop radio station Kiss FM, men's magazine FHM and teen magazine Smash Hits TV, among many others, is seeking to take full control of Scottish Radio Holdings, in which it already has a 27.8% stake.

Emap would have to pay up to £300 million to acquire the rest of SRH but the addition to its broadcast portfolio would give the company added leverage in the radio advertising market, 40% of which is soon to be controlled by the newly created Capital-GWR [WAMN: 30-Sep-2004]

SRH owns radio stations in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Northern Ireland, plus a significant number of regional newspapers, which Emap could swiftly offload to any number of potential buyers.

Emap itself runs other radio stations in UK connurbations such as Manchester and Birmingham as well as London.

Says analyst Paul Richards of Numis Securities: "Geographically and culturally they [Emap and SRH] are a good fit and it would create pretty much a level playing field with Capital-GWR."

Emap and SRH have so far declined to comment.

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