Ex-Virgin Radio chief John Pearson pulls bid for Absolute Radio

John Pearson, the former chief executive of Virgin Radio, has pulled out of the process to buy Absolute Radio after what is thought to have been a difference in opinion over its valuation.

Absolute Radio: John Pearson pulls bid
Absolute Radio: John Pearson pulls bid

It is understood that Pearson, who was backed by Peter Dubens’s Oakley Capital private equity fund, was nearing a deal before Christmas but talks have now stalled because two parties could not agree on price.

Bauer Media, the owner of the Magic and Kiss networks, is understood to have shown an interest in the business and could be close to doing a deal.

Media Week revealed Absolute Radio’s owner Bennett, Coleman & Co had resurrected talks with potential buyers in December last year.

Bennett, Coleman & Co is thought to be looking for at least £20m for the loss-making business it bought for £52.3m in 2008, while Pearson's Oakley Capital-backed bid is thought to have valued it at less than that.

Pearson said: "I can confirm that we have withdrawn from the process."

Absolute Radio's operating company, TIML Radio, reported a pre-tax loss of £4.3m in 2011, down 3.6% year on year, after revenues rose 15.3% year on year, against an industry average of 1.8% year on year, to £16.6m.

Bennett, Coleman & Co, which owns The Times of India newspaper, called off its last review of Absolute Radio in September 2011 because it was unable to achieve the price it wanted.

UTV Media, the owner of TalkSport, showed an interest in buying Absolute Radio during the previous process but sources close to the broadcaster said it was not involved this time.

An Absolute Radio spokeswoman said: "We do not comment on speculation about our business."

A spokesman for Bauer Media said: "We do not comment on speculation around commercial matters."

Have your say...

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Media Week Jobs
Search for more media jobs

Latest

Lost in translation: when brand taglines don't travel

Lost in translation: when brand taglines don't travel

These might be some of the most memorable brand taglines in English but when they cross oceans, they mean something entirely different. We searched the depths of the internet to find the best, or worst.

Share
Traditional TV viewers predicted to drop as mobile fuels rise in online video

Traditional TV viewers predicted to drop as mobile fuels rise in online video

Linear TV viewing figures are set to drop worldwide for the first time next year, with online video consumption set to rise by 23.3 per cent in 2015, according to a report by ZenithOptimedia.

Share
The 7 deadly sins of brand management - and how to avoid them

The 7 deadly sins of brand management - and how to avoid them

Some of the most valuable assets a firm has are the brands it has developed. Brands create identification, differentiation and value for customers and shareholders alike. By influencing customer choice, creating a loyal and passionate following as well as commanding a premium for their products and services, strong brands can be key to great business performance.

Share

Get news by email