Bauer Media buys Absolute Radio for £22m
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Bauer Media buys Absolute Radio for £22m

Bauer Media UK has agreed with Times of India to acquire the Absolute Radio business, subject to regulatory clearance for around £22m.

It follows months of speculation about Absolute Radio being for sale, and Bauer being the reported buyer.

Absolute Radio has been around for five years, after Times of India bought Virgin Radio for £53m in 2008 and spent another £15k rebranding it.

Paul Keenan, CEO, Bauer Media UK, said: “We are looking forward to working with the award-winning team at Absolute Radio and have great respect for what it has achieved. We are excited about welcoming this complementary music radio business with renowned digital assets into Bauer. Absolute Radio and its sister brands are loved by millions of UK consumers and by advertisers. This acquisition will be an opportunity to learn and share across both businesses.”

Donnach O’Driscoll, CEO, Absolute Radio, said: “The Absolute Radio business has never been in better shape as we approach our fifth birthday. Bauer Media UK is a business that really cares about building famous media and entertainment brands and music radio in particular. This brand will continue to thrive as part of the Bauer group

Earlier this year Bauer Media purchased Planet Rock and proceeded to close down Kerrang! Radio’s building in Birmingham and replace the output with Planet Rock from London.

Former Absolute Radio COO said Absolute Radio will thrive under its new owners.

0 17 1698 29 July, 2013 Industry News Monday, July 29th, 2013


  1. Bailey

    A forth coming rebrand on the cards some how I can’t see Bauer wanting to keep the name absolute radio more like a possible rebrand to kerrang or maybe another well know rock radio brand or possible revert back to Virgin?

  2. Martin Phillp

    If the Absolute brand is kept, it’ll be interesting to see if and where it’s kept? Kerrang may have been kept, but as a VT digital service. Surely the plan must be to close the digital decades and classic rock stations, put Planet Rock on it’s FM frequency in London while changing what’s left of Absolute to complement Planet Rock and Kerrang.

    1. Radio Geordie

      That would cost another £20million just to use the name, hence why it was re-branded in the first place.

  3. Seen It

    Love the typo, they spent only £15 rebranding it! Great value rebrand, didn’t work though! :-)

  4. Seen It

    I think we’ll be seeing Plant Rock on the AM and also FM frequencies though.

    I would say Bauer are on an all out mission for adding listening hours to their business. Especially in the light of the Global/GMG marriage (regardless of the overall outcome there).

    Even better value as this station will likely become a rely for something they already have. No major running costs there then.

  5. James Martin

    1215 & 105.8 become Planet Rock.
    Digital decades stations to close.
    Magic goes onto D1 with Wave 105 rebranding.

  6. Observer

    They could keep part of the name and just call it Absolute Crap radio. They certainly wouldn’t have any problems with the trades descriptions folks.

  7. Nick

    Rebranding has gone to £15k in the article now – marvellous. But given that the article also says they bought Virgin for £53 then its not a bad deal!!

  8. Blinding Deal R Us

    No wonder Clive’s buggered off to Oz. £53m 5 years ago now sold for £25m. Wow, now that, right there is a huge business success. I hope they don’t what to learn from him down under.

    1. Seen It

      These radio air heads full of their self importance and business bull phrases (like branding, demographics and markets)… Not one of them has turned a net profit based on what they paid for assets against what they were sold for and adding in any profits/losses along the way!

      The last person to turn a profit out of radio was Chris Evans. No radio assets had been sold for more than it was bought for since.

      That says something for the ability of these people (especially the ones who were responsible for buying).

  9. Seen It

    It’s worth noting that this station has lost £223m off it’s value since 2000 when SMG bought it from Chris Evans.

    So that is an average of £17.15m per year knocked from it’s value. You either have to have a serious passion for radio or potentially be a bit mad to buy such assets.

    Just to place this in perspective, that is a constant loss of just under £330k a week over 13 years.

    Does anyone still want to invest in radio? There must be some seriously rich or misguided people around.

    1. MB

      I’m not sure where that figure has come from. SMG paid £225 million for Ginger Media, but that price included Ginger Television as well as Virgin Radio.

      1. Seen It

        Fair play, didn’t take that into account. How much is that asset worth I wonder? Minus that off and it still potentially a big hit though…

  10. Mav321

    Please Bauer broadcast Abs80s at 192k in stereo on DAB! The number 1 station on DAB after all, then I may listen to DAB more. I can’t listen to any music station in mono. So come on get at least one station on DAB sounding good & were better to start than Abs80s!!! Also to save money close down any of the other Absolute stations but not Abs80s!!!

    Thank you…:)

  11. Smarty Marty

    So long as they leave Absolute 80s alone (maybe a name change but that’s all) so I can continue to listen to Matthew Rudd’s Forgotten 80’s they can close all the other Absolute stations completely for me. At least then Kiss and JazzFM may go stereo on DAB.

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