SMG to float Virgin Radio amid revamp

Scottish Media Group plans to float Virgin Radio on the stock market this autumn, as well as selling off its outdoor division Primesight and its cinema division Pearl & Dean in a bid to turn around its business.

Primesight management has confirmed it will be making a bid for the outdoor business.

SMG has an estimated debt forecast before disposals of £170m by the end of the year.

The firm presented its plans to the City last week at the end of a 100-day business review. They include selling off its non-core assets and restructuring its TV business. According to an SMG spokesman, Virgin Radio, Primesight and Pearl & Dean are worth £70m to £80m each.

SMG's senior management will be cut from seven to three "to ensure clear lines of accountability".

Rob Woodward, chief executive of SMG, said: "We have had a thorough look at the business and taken some short-term remedial actions to deliver sustainable growth."

Recent reports have also linked Richard Branson and former ITV chief Charles Allen to a bid for Virgin Radio.

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