UBC to acquire GWR stations

UBC to acquire GWR stations

Cole: in the marketplace for licenses

 Radio group UBC Media is on the verge of buying GWR's six remaining Classic Gold licences in a move to capitalize on the growth in
digital radio.

The group, which announced a 70% rise in turnover this week, is understood to be about to sign a deal with GWR to acquire six analogue
stations and their supporting digital licences.

This would give UBC 100% ownership of the Classic Gold Digital network, supporting its strategy of expanding into
station ownership.

GWR - which earlier this month reported a 70% decline in half-year profits - sold 12 Classic Gold AM licences and a digital simulcast channel to UBC late last year.

It recent weeks it has been suggested that GWR will sell off more radio assets in the face of a challenging economic environment. UBC chief executive Simon Cole has said the group is "in the marketplace for AM licences needing management and digital focus."

He said: "The acquisition that we made with Classic Gold
Digital proved successful and our investors will want us to look for more."

In the first six monthly contribution, Classic Gold Digital added £1.45m to UBC's turnover and £203,000 to profits, according to the company.

In April, UBC signed a deal with Emap for its Classic Gold Digital output to be carried on seven of Emap's digital
multiplexes in the North of England.

Now that is set to grow further following a deal signed by UBC and Emap to extend Classic Gold's coverage across a further four multiplexes, increasing the station's potential audience from 8.6 million to 13 million.

Revenue from the production side of the UBC business rose 10% to £2.65m, with radio advertising sales rising seven per cent to more than £1m.

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