SBS buys Nordic radio ops

Chief says radio business in Scandinavia is in early stages

AMSTERDAM — SBS Broadcasting is continuing its push to become one of the largest radio operators in the Nordic territories with the E17.5 million ($19.6 million) acquisition of U.S.-based Clear Channel Intl. Radio’s operations in Norway and Denmark.

SBS will acquire the eight-channel Radio 1 Norge network, owned 50% by Clear Channel and 50% by Norwegian media outfit Norsk Aller, and Clear Channel’s 10-channel Radio 2 network in Denmark.

The agreement, set to close mid-August, follows on the heels of the merger of SBS and Bonnier’s Swedish radio ops. Bonnier is the Nordic territory’s largest entertainment group.

The two deals will make SBS, which owns TV channels in Scandinavia, the owner and operator of 52 radio channels across the Nordic territories.

Price, to be paid in SBS common shares, is the exact sum of the combined revenues of Radio 1 and Radio 2 networks in 2002. Deal is subject to regulatory approval in Norway.

SBS chief exec Markus Tellenbach said SBS plans to become the biggest radio operator in the territory, adding that the pan-European channel launcher is “convinced that the radio business in the Scandinavian markets is at a relatively early stage of development and has significant growth potential.”

Rival Scandi media group MTG is believed to be the biggest radio operator in the Nordic territories.

Clear Channel prexy Robert Cohen said the firm planned to focus on its outdoor and entertainment business in Scandinavia and on developing its radio properties in Australia, New Zealand and Mexico.

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