German magazine publisher H Bauer are confirmed as new owners of Emap radio stations. An official announcement came on Friday morning, which revealled a final offer of £1.14bn being accepted for Emap's consumer magazines and radio stations.
The news, reported by the Financial Times newspaper late Thursday, means radio stations such as Metro, Magic 105.4 and Clyde 1 will be owned and operated by a German magazine publisher. Business to business titles such as Broadcast will remain with Emap – which will see the company continue to operate as a B2B operation.
Who is Bauer?
Bauer – pronounced bower – is a German company which owns around 50 magazine; in around a dozen counties, from China to the Czech republic and Austria to America. In the UK, they include Take a Break, Bella and TV Quick. Those titles will now join Close, heat and FHM. H. Bauer Publishing is the largest privately owned publisher in Europe, and was formed in 1875 by Johann Bauer.
This will not be the company’s only radio asset. Bauer took over RMF FM end of 2006, a national radio network with a 22.3% daily share and the undisputed market leader in Poland.
Based on annual retail sales value, H. Bauer is one of the top three consumer magazine publishing companies in the UK continuing to play a primary role in the nation's reading habits. It continues to innovate, driving its business and the ever-evolving magazine market ever forward.
It is not known at this stage if Bauer will operate and grow the radio division, but sources say the German publisher was prepared to offer £50m more than other bidders just for the stations.
Guardian Media Group was is in talks with private equity firm Apax Partners about launching a joint £2billion bid for Emap, according to reports. Now it is thought the two will offer around £1.3bn for Emap’s business-to-business division.