SMG likes the sound of Virgin Radio

Sells to India's TIML for $105 mil in cash

LONDON -- British commercial media group SMG has reached an agreement to sell Virgin Radio to India's TIML Golden Square for 53.2 million pounds ($105 million) in cash.

In a statement issued Monday to the London Stock Exchange, Glasgow-based SMG CEO Rob Woodward said the agreement represented "a sound price for Virgin Radio and a good deal for SMG shareholders."

The group told its shareholders the sale would reap 60 million pounds ($117 million). That sum, however, could still be reached. An additional consideration of 8 million pounds ($15 million) will become payable if the radio business is licensed to use the Virgin Radio brand within two years of closing, meaning the full price would come to 61.2 million pounds ($120 million).

SMG will now refocus on its wider strategic plan to invest more in TV production and its Internet activities.

"The disposal of Virgin Radio is consistent with our overall strategy and the proceeds of the sale will allow us to return cash to shareholders as well as further strengthen an already healthy balance sheet," Woodward said.

TIML Golden Square is a unit of Bennett Coleman & Co., which publishes the Times of India newspaper and operates radio stations in the country.

The disposal is still subject to the approval of SMG's shareholders. A general meeting will be convened at a date yet to be confirmed.
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