Shropshire Star

Media giant 'in talks' to acquire south Shropshire broadcaster Sunshine Radio

Europe's largest commercial radio company is understood to be in talks to buy a small independent radio station that broadcasts to Shropshire and the borders.

Last updated

The Bauer Media Group, which owns the Absolute and Magic brands as well as regional stations in the UK, is understood to be in discussions to acquire Sunshine Radio.

Sunshine's long time owner, Ginny Murfin, has confirmed that talks are taking place but she says nothing has changed and the station will continue to broadcast to the Ludlow and Hereford area as it has for the last 30 years.

News of the approach has been made public on an Irish-based regulator's website because of Bauer's media interest in the Irish Republic.

Ginny Murfin said she was "only in discussions" at the moment.

"We are literally only in discussions at this stage, I have not signed anything," she said.

"Sunshine Radio will continue broadcasting as it has done for the last 30 years," she added. "We are carrying on."

The approach has been granted first stage approval from the regulators in Ireland, which is where the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has been involved because of Bauer's interests in the republic.

A statement on the Commission's website said: "The proposed acquisition of certain assets from Virginia Murfin, the sole shareholder of Sunshine FM Limited and Norgate Limited, that comprise the business known as Sunshine Radio by Bauer Media Audio LP, acting by its partner Bauer Media Audio Limited, has been cleared by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission."

Heinrich Bauer Verlag KG ("Bauer") is the ultimate parent of Bauer Media Audio LP and Bauer Media Audio Limited. Bauer is a privately-owned German media business. It reaches over 200 million consumers worldwide and operates in 14 countries; the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, the UK and Ireland.

The assets of Sunshine Radio are currently owned by Sunshine FM Limited and Norgate Limited, both of which are private limited companies incorporated, domiciled, and registered in England and Wales in the United Kingdom.

Sunshine Radio operates the Sunshine Radio channel, which is licensed by Ofcom and operates a service on two local FM radio licences in the UK.

Sunshine Radio holds Ofcom licences to broadcast to Ludlow and South Shropshire on 855 KHz, 105.9 MHz and 107.8 MHz, and in Herefordshire and Monmouthshire on 106.2 MHz - Hereford; 107 MHz - Monmouth and 107.8 MHz - Monmouthshire.