No, not Jack Bauer, he couldn’t buy anything as he’s in jail. H Bauer, the German media bods have bought Emap’s radio and magazine arm as well as their shareholding in the Emap-C4 joint-venture Box TV (that runs all the music TV channels). The radio side was valued at £422m.
The deal’s bad news for lots of people who hoped they’d be the winner. As well as a load of VC money with various people like Tim Schoonmaker and Phil Riley fronting it, Global Radio (the operators of Heart, Galaxy and LBC) are going to be a bit miffed about their loss. Global was created as an organisation that would drive consolidation and extract value from new scale. Instead they’re now at risk of being sidelined and they’re going to have to do a deal or they’ll probably be flogged off to someone like GMG. New pants time at Bramley Road.
We’re also going to have to find out what H Bauer’s view is on things – from digital radio to localness, their involvement is a wild card for the radio industry. Or have they just acquired these assets to sell them on to someone else. We’ll have to wait and see.