Following this morning’s announcement that Global Radio has bought GMG’s radio division, we bring you the detail sent to staff in both groups.
As you may have seen a few moments ago on g:tweet, we have an important and very exciting Global announcement this morning.
We’re very pleased to announce that yes, the rumors are true and we have completed a deal to purchase GMG Radio for an undisclosed sum. This represents the culmination of many months of hard work and it’s a pleasure to be able to announce it this morning.
When we’re able to combine the two companies, we will be able to offer significant benefits to our advertisers and listeners from a fantastic portfolio of brands. The transaction will mean that commercial radio is better able to compete in an increasingly dynamic broader media arena.
Now, inevitably the press and media industry rumor mills will start turning at a hundred miles an hour as to what the strategy is going forward and what will happen to the various stations. Therefore if for any reason you receive any enquiries from the media or anyone else, please make no comment whatsoever and instead refer them to Brian MacLaurin at MacLaurin Media.
So, although the purchase is now completed, the process is not entirely finished at this point. The OFT (Office of Fair Trading) and / or the CC (Competition Commission) still have to carry out their study into the takeover. Although this process has now started, it is not complete and will take several months to do so.
Therefore, we have to enter into something known as a ‘hold separate’. As the name suggests, this is a period of time where the two businesses, Global and GMG Radio, are held and run completely separately in the same way they have been run to date. They must continue to act as they were before the takeover, during this hold separate period.
To that end, it is important that both companies have a strong management team in place to see them through this period as it is obviously important to ensure clarity of structure and an orderly succession.
Therefore, following the announcement by GMG of the resignation of Stuart Taylor from GMG Radio, we’re delighted to announce that Mark Lee, currently Global’s MD for the Regions, will be moving over from Global Radio to GMG Radio with immediate effect, assuming the role of CEO there. It’s a fantastic opportunity for Mark and we’re sure you’ll join us in wishing him many congratulations.
In addition Colin Everitt, Global’s Group Finance Controller will be joining Mark as COO (Chief Operating Officer) of GMG Radio – please join us in wishing him many congratulations as well.
Once the competition authorities work is complete and the businesses are allowed to come together, Mark and Colin will move back across to Global.
Whilst Mark and Colin are on secondment to GMG Radio, the RMD’s will report into Mike Gordon and the finance team will report into Michael Connole. For the vast majority of you around the company this will have no day-to-day impact.
We are acutely aware that the integration process needs to be undertaken as swiftly as possible following OFT / CC clearance. As always with Global, we will be doing everything we can to ensure a swift and decisive process that makes for a fast integration.
Having said all that, we are not able to do anything until after the OFT / CC process is complete and the ‘hold separate’ provisions put in place, are lifted, so in the interim it’s very much business as usual. We attach an ‘FAQ’ sheet which may help with any further questions you may have.
Finally, we would like to thank you in advance for your patience during the process. We’re sure you’ll agree this is a really exciting development for Global and we’re delighted we’ve been able to complete and announce the acquisition today.
In the meantime if you have any specific questions, please direct them to your local MD or brand leader.
Ashley, Stephen, Richard & Charles
Message to GMG Radio staff
Today we are announcing the sale of GMG’s shares in GMG Radio to Global Radio.
The purpose of GMG’s portfolio is to secure the future of the Guardian in perpetuity. This means that we are sometimes faced with the difficult choice between retaining a business that has performed well, as with GMG Radio, or deciding that a disposal at an attractive value represents the best way of discharging our responsibilities.
In the 13 years since GMG Radio started broadcasting and building its portfolio of stations, it has established a major presence on the UK’s airwaves and is now the third largest commercial radio group in the country. GMG Radio is in a strong position and so attracted considerable interest from several parties. There is no doubt that this is a result of all your hard work, talent and commitment in getting GMG Radio to where it is today and that Global recognises this.
I realise that this announcement will be unsettling for many of you. However, we feel that Global, as an organisation whose core business is radio, are well placed to build on the terrific work you have all done.
Although Stuart Taylor will be leaving the business with immediate effect, the rest of your senior management team will remain unchanged. Representatives from Global will be emailing you shortly to talk to you about next steps.
I personally want to extend my gratitude to you all: you have made a tremendous contribution to the Group and to supporting the Guardian.
I wish you the very best for the future.
FAQ sent to Global staff
Q. What has happened?
A. Global’s acquisition of GMG Radio is now completed and this means that Global Radio now own GMG Radio.
Q. Why did Global buy GMG Radio?
A. When we’re able to combine the two companies, we will be able to offer significant benefits to our advertisers and listeners across a fantastic portfolio of brands. The transaction will mean that commercial radio is better able to compete in an increasingly dynamic wider media market.
Q. Won’t this deal make Global too dominant in the radio marketplace?
A. No. The media sector is highly dynamic and Global will continue to face strong competition from other radio groups as well as other media players.
Q. What happens now?
A. Although the purchase is now completed, the process is not entirely finished at this point. The OFT (Office of Fair Trading) and / or the CC (Competition Commission) still have to conduct their review into the takeover. Although this process is now underway, it is likely to be a number of months before it is complete.
Q. What happens during this review?
A. We have to enter into something known as a ‘hold separate.’ As the name suggests, this is a period of time where the two businesses, Global and GMG Radio, are held and run completely separately in the same way they have been run to date, and therefore continue to act exactly as they were before the takeover, during this hold separate period.
Q. How much did Global Radio pay for these radio assets?
A. This figure is not being disclosed
Q. Do my conditions of employment alter as a result of this transaction?
A. Your employment contract remains unchanged
Q. Will there be redundancies at GMG Radio?
A. It is impossible at this stage to predict the future structure of the business. During this ‘hold separate’ period, its business as usual.
Q. What are Global’s plans for the Real and Smooth Radio Brands?
A. It is far too early to provide any detail and the Real and Smooth brands will continue to be run independently from Global’s existing business until the competition authorities complete their review.
Q. Will Real Radio become part of the Heart network?
A. Again, it is far too early to provide any detail on this and until the competition authorities complete their review the Real network will continue to be run independently from Global’s existing business.
Q. Does Global plan to keep all the regional stations or co-locate?
A. It is impossible at this stage to predict the future structure of the business and until the competition authorities complete their review GMG’s stations will continue to be run independently from Global’s existing business.
Q. What does it mean for our customers?
A. Our service to clients will not change at all during the ‘Hold Separate’ period. It is business as usual.
Q. Can our sales teams work together?
A. No, absolutely not. Whilst we’re in a ‘hold separate’ period, we continue to operate as two completely separate sales teams, just as we currently do.
Q. Who will run GMG Radio while competition authorities review the future structure?
A. Mark Lee moves from Global to GMG Radio as CEO during the hold separate period. He is joined by Colin Everitt as COO.
Q. Will GMG Radio still be called GMG Radio during the process?
A. No. Whilst Real and Smooth continue totally unchanged, the parent company “GMG Radio Holdings” will be re-named within the next week or two. We will inform you when this has happened.