Murdoch’s News Corp in £220m swoop for TalkSport owners

Rupert Murdoch
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The media giant behind The Sun and The Times newspapers is diving into the digital radio market by making a £220 million swoop for the owner of TalkSport.

News Corp said it had moved to snap up the Wireless Group because it made an “excellent strategic fit” and would strengthen its digital business.

The cash offer will see Wireless shareholders receive 315p per share, while named shareholders from May 20 this year will pocket a special dividend of 6.15p and a final dividend of 7.6p.

Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News UK, said the deal would allow News Corp to build on its “growing digital success story” and “bring some of the best journalistic and broadcasting talent into one group”.

She added: “This acquisition will allow us to increase engagement for both businesses through the cross-promotion of our brands and the use of our respective talent.

“We also look forward to collaborating in the expansion of the Wireless Group’s digital audio and international assets, which offer new opportunities for our businesses in the UK and globally.”

Wireless owns Virgin Radio UK, TalkRadio and TalkSport radio, which has the radio and digital broadcasting rights to the Premier League and the FA Cup,

News Corp said the takeover, which still needs to win regulatory approval and the backing of Wireless shareholders, represents a premium of 70.3 per cent of Wireless’s closing share price of 185p on Wednesday.

Richard Huntingford, executive chairman of Wireless, said: “This is an excellent outcome for all Wireless stakeholders.