Business News Deals Media

Bauer Media buys Orion Media

By | Published on Monday 9 May 2016

Bauer Media

Bauer Media has bought the Midlands-based commercial radio group Orion Media, which operates the Free Radio and Gem stations in central England. The deal adds to Bauer’s existing network of local radio stations in the UK, which already include the likes of Radio City in Liverpool, Metro FM in Newcastle, and the Clyde and Forth stations in Scotland.

Orion originally launched after Bauer competitor Global Radio was forced to sell a number of Midlands stations to get approval for its acquisition of GCap in 2007. The Free Radio brand was then introduced in 2012. The company was backed by the Lloyds Banking Group’s private equity outfit, which exits the business with this deal. The same Lloyds division sold the MAMA live music company to Live Nation last summer.

Confirming his company’s Orion purchase, Bauer Media CEO Paul Keenan said: “Free Radio and Gem are influential radio stations in one of the UK’s fastest growing regions. Bauer’s desire to build out its extensive radio business is testament to the nature of the industry which continues to be a strong, robust and growing platform, thriving in the always-on, mobile, connected world”.

Meanwhile Orion boss Adrian Serle added: “Orion has established market-leading status for audiences and revenues in each of its markets, something our teams should be immensely proud of – we are extremely confident that the business will continue to thrive under Bauer’s ownership”.