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Macquarie could sell licence

A report in the Guardian this morning suggests that Macquarie has held talks with third parties about selling the FM radio licence for Plymouth.

Former Emap boss Tim Schoonmaker helped Diamond FM win the licence in March this year, after fighting off competition from four other local bidders.

The article points out that Schoonmaker has moved onto other projects, and suggests that [i]the lack of activity in setting up Diamond FM has sparked speculation that the Australian investment bank may be looking to end its interest in the UK radio market before it has even begun.[/i]

A spokeswoman for Macquarie told the newspaper they are still planning to launch Diamond FM: [i]"We are working towards the launch of the station," said the spokeswoman. "We have no date set yet, but we are making good progress."

She declined to state definitively that Macquarie would launch Diamond FM, but repeated: "We are very much moving towards that."[/i]

Macquarie submitted applications for the Southend-on-Sea, Northeast and Bristol licences but was not successful. Their lack of applications for Manchester and Liverpool also suggests they are looking to exit the UK radio industry.

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