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Times Of India Group Sells Absolute Radio To Bauer Media For £22-25M; History

German media conglomerate Bauer Media has bought UK based Absolute Radio from the Times of India group, subject to regulatory clearance. While the amount of the transaction has not been disclosed, the acquisition is reported to be between £22-25 million (around $33.8-$38.5 million at current rates), according to multiple reports (see MediaWeek, The Guardian). The Times of India group, which had briefly considered putting the business on sale in 2011, has finally succeeded in offloading a business it had acquired for £52.5 million from SMG Plc in 2008 at a price that apparently half of what they bought it for. Interestingly enough, Ian Grace, the then President of Virgin Radio International, had valued the business at £25 million in an interview with ContentSutra in 2008. Called Virgin Radio at the time, it remains an asset whose value has been declining: the Times of India group had bought it for less than a quarter of the £225 that SMG had bought it from the Virgin Group. It had subsequently rebranded as Absoulute Radio in partnership with an Irish company of the same name, and in the first month itself, they lost 500,000 listeners. The Times of India group had said then that it would spend £15 million in developing and re-launching Absolute Radio. In an interview with ContentSutra.com, a copy of which is available on a forum here (doesn't load on the site), Grace had said that the given the nature of the UK radio market, the two entities (Times of India and Absolute…

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Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

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