ANALYSIS: MEDIA TRACK - Capital’s takeover of Border will form a radio group with the biggest reach in the UK

The battle to takeover Border Television appears to have been won by Capital Radio (Media Business, last week). Capital eventually entered the fray after a hostile approach bid for Border - the last independent ITV company - was made by Scottish Radio Holdings a few weeks earlier.

The battle to takeover Border Television appears to have been won

by Capital Radio (Media Business, last week). Capital eventually entered

the fray after a hostile approach bid for Border - the last independent

ITV company - was made by Scottish Radio Holdings a few weeks

earlier.



Border’s directors had urged shareholders to reject SRH’s approach, with

chief executive Paul Corely claiming Scottish Radio has no experience of

running a television business. In fairness, nor does Capital, but a

tie-up with the company does offer Border significantly more radio

coverage across the country.



Capital’s average weekly reach is 6.4 million listeners, according to

the December 1999 Rajar figures. Combined with Border’s three Century

stations and the smaller Sun FM, a Capital/Border company will have

weekly audience of 7.8 million.



Scottish Radio, however, would bring just 2.9 million extra listeners a

week to Border’s audience.



Capital’s network of stations already covers London, the South-east,

much of the Midlands and parts of South Wales. Border’s Century

stations, which broadcast across Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham and

Newcastle, fill the gaps nicely. At the same time, the Capital group

gets a foothold in the world of ITV via the Border Television

franchise.



As Capital’s offer has yet to receive majority shareholder acceptance at

Border, there remains the possibility of a counter-bid, with Chrysalis

Radio reportedly in the frame. Chrysalis’ Galaxy and Heart stations give

the group good coverage across the North and Midlands, with Galaxy 102

and Galaxy 105-106 overlapping Border’s key areas of Manchester and

Newcastle.



Chrysalis Radio Sales already handles ad sales for Border’s three

Century stations.



If the Capital deal is concluded, the combined operation would be one of

the largest radio groups in the UK in terms of weekly reach.





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