The sale of West Midlands local stations BRMB, Mercia, Wyvern and Beacon along with East Midlands regional Heart 106 by Global Radio will be complete by the end of the year, RadioToday.co.uk has learnt.
There are thought to be at least five bids being submitted in the second round, including one from an international private equity group. At this stage there is no favourite to win, despite reports that former Chrysalis boss Phil Riley is frontrunner. Bids are also thought to have been submitted by Bauer and a [link=http://radiotoday.co.uk/news.php?extend.3735]consortium[/link] led by Mike Owen.
BRMB, Mercia, Wyvern and Beacon will be sold outright, whilst Heart 106 is to be run under a franchise agreement with national sales still handled by Global. Even the lineup of presenters will be dictated by Global's programming team after the sale.
RadioToday.co.uk understands bids for the first round ranged from £20 million to £40 million for five FM stations plus their AM counterparts.