GMG eyes Emap

Guardian Media Group (GMG) has confirmed that it is still working with private equity investor Apax about a joint bid for Emap‘s business to business magazines division.

Chairman of the private company Paul Myners also indicated that GMG might want to take control of Magic FM, one of Emap’s radio stations, but not necessarily the other stations in Emap’s radio portfolio.

Global Radio, backed by racing fans John Magnier, JP McManus, Dermot Desmond and Michael Tabor, is thought to be keen on buying the latter business. It bought Chrysalis’s radio interests earlier this year, under guidance from former ITV boss Charles Allen.

This purchase included Heart FM, a rival London station to Emap’s Magic. GMG’s Myners said that a regulator may not like one group to own both popular stations. In that case GMG could take Magic off Global Radio’s hands.

Myner said: “We certainly find a number of the properties in the Emap portfolio attractive and relevant to us and have an interest in acquiring them if we can reach agreement with the board of Emap.”

He added: “There are individual assets within the Emap radio portfolio which would sit very, very neatly and comfortably and coherently with our portfolio, but not the whole Emap radio portfolio.

“I think the Emap radio portfolio will be bought by another group and they may have to sell some of those individual licences because they have unreasonable concentration.”

Second round bidding for Emap’s assets finished last night, December 3.