Northern Ireland

Wireless Group: News Corp buys Belfast-based radio business sells for £220m

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp has agreed to buy the Belfast-based Wireless Group Image copyright AFP
Image caption News Corp, founded by Rupert Murdoch, has agreed to buy the Belfast-based Wireless Group

The Belfast-based radio business Wireless Group is being bought by News Corp for £220m.

Wireless Group is effectively the radio assets of what was UTV Media.

UTV's television assets were bought by ITV earlier this year, and the radio business was renamed. Its stations include U105 in Belfast and talkSPORT, the UK sports radio network.

News Corp, founded by Rupert Murdoch, is one of the world's biggest media firms.

Expansionnews

Its UK assets include The Sun and The Times newspapers.

In a statement to the Stock Exchange, the company said: "Wireless' audience complements the audience of The Sun, and there is significant opportunity to increase engagement and monetisation through cross-promotion.

"The acquisition also raises the prospect of further international digital expansion for the Wireless brands."

The all-cash deal represents a premium of more than 70% on Wireless shares when they closed on Wednesday.

Stature

Richard Huntingford, the Wireless Group's executive chairman, said the deal was "an excellent outcome for all Wireless stakeholders".

He added that "a new player, with the stature and global media experience of News Corp, will be a major boost for the UK and Irish commercial radio industry."

The transaction will have to be cleared by competition regulators in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

News Corp said the deal could involve some jobs relating to duplication "corporate and support functions".

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