The sale by SMG plc of Virgin Radio to TIML Golden Square Ltd (TIML), a wholly owned subsidiary of Times Infotainment Media Limited (part of the Times of India Group) has been announced. Campaign India had reported the possibility of such a purchase by TIML in its print edition dated March 28, 2008.
TIML is to acquire Virgin Radio Holdings Limited and its subsidiaries including the radio station and the related business assets and, after a short transition, Virgin Enterprises will retain the Virgin Radio brand as part of its own global radio strategy.
Virgin Radio will continue in its present form until the autumn. During this period, TIML will develop a new music and entertainment brand. TIML will invest in excess of £15m developing and rolling out the new brand.
A P Parigi, Chief Executive of TIML (pictured) comments: "TIML is part of the largest media and entertainment organisation in India with a proven track record of building powerhouse brands. Now is a great period to be entering the UK market and the opportunity to acquire a valuable radio asset couldn't have come at a better time. We are pleased to once again be working with a great team of UK-based radio experts, Absolute Radio, which not only has a wealth of radio management experience but also, importantly, shares our passion for developing a new kind of music and entertainment offering for the modern radio consumer. By harnessing local creative brand building talent and the skills of the award-winning Golden Square team, we are excited about taking the business to the next level, expanding the diversity, variety and number of consumer touchpoints and revenue opportunities for all of our stakeholders.”
Adds Richard Branson of the Virgin Group: “This decision was arrived at collectively only after we had all carefully considered the various options. I wish TIML all the best of luck with their new radio brand.”