Bauer Media has bought Midlands radio group Orion, bringing the total number of stations it owns to 71.
The Free Radio and Gem brands are currently heard by more than 1.25m listeners weekly, so the acquisition increases Bauer’s UK commercial radio listening share to 34%.
Paul Keenan, CEO, Bauer Media commented: “Free Radio and Gem are influential radio stations in one of the UK’s fastest growing regions. Bauer’s desire to build out its extensive radio business is testament to the nature of the industry which continues to be a strong, robust and growing platform, thriving in the always-on, mobile, connected world. It’s promise of music discovery and curated entertainment; intimate companionship; and trusted and vital local news make it relevant and essential to its growing audience.”
He added: “Bauer Media’s leadership in digital and personalised advertising technology such as InStream+ will accelerate the development of the brands and we look forward to working with the team to grow the business.”
Adrian Serle, CEO, Orion Media said: “”Orion has established market-leading status for audiences and revenues in each of its markets, something our teams should be immensely proud of – we are extremely confident that the business will continue to thrive under Bauer’s ownership”
Orion Media was formed with backing from LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, in 2009 to purchase stations from Global Radio formerly known as BRMB, Mercia, Wyvern and Beacon – as well as the regional licence for the East Midlands which was previously operating under the Heart brand.