with RCS

The Local Radio Company acquires 2BR

TLRC has bought extra shares in East Lancashire's 99.8 FM 2BR, giving the company control of the station with 65 per cent of shares now owned.

The Local Radio Company already owned a 32.5 percent shareholding in the station, and hopes the deal to acquire an extra 32.5 percent from Johnson Press will be agreed by other minor shareholders. TLRC is paying 12.25 pence per share, valuing the station at over £3million.

In the audited accounts to 31 December 2003, 2BR had a turnover of £1.18m with profits before tax of £260,000 and net assets of £451,000.

Richard Wheatly, Chief Executive of The Local Radio Company, commented: "This acquisition is the first following our flotation just three weeks ago. We are delighted that 2BR is becoming part of The Local Radio Company. This is a first class radio station and we are looking forward to working with its team."

Following this transaction, 2BR will be one of the largest stations in The Local Radio Company group. According to RAJAR Q1, 2004, it had a weekly reach of 38 per cent, 77,000 adults, a total of 938,000 listening hours and a market share of 21.6 per cent. On completion of the transaction, TLRC will operate 23 radio stations, 22 of which are concentrated in the South West and North East of England and one in Scotland.

The Local Radio Company reported that at the time of flotation, trading for the first five months of the year had increased by 14.5 per cent year on year. Trading for the three months March, April and May 2004 is 14 percent up year on year.

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