The Lamb family's Broadcast Investments Pty Ltd has sold Sydney radio
station 2DAY-FM to Adelaide-based radio broadcaster Austereo Ltd for a record
sum estimated to be in excess of $80 million.
This is believed to be the highest price paid for an individual Australian
radio station and bolsters the market value of FM licences - a comforting
thought for FM operators as the Federal Government proceeds with plans for the
conversion of a limited number of AM licences to the FM band.
Broadcast Investments acquired 2DAY-FM two years ago for the then record
price of $70 million from Mr Mike Willesee's Trans Media group. Before that, it
had been a long-time owner of Sydney AM station 2UE, before selling it to Mr
Kerry Packer for $20 million in 1986.
Under the terms of the deal, Austereo acquires 100 per cent of 2DAY-FM
Australia Pty Ltd, the licensee of 2DAY; while Broadcast Investments also
receives a 15 per cent stake in Austereo and will appoint a director to the
Broadcast Investments managing director, Mr John Conde, will stay as
chairman of 2DAY-FM.
Austereo's managing director, Mr Paul Thompson, said: "We have long
believed that the future of radio lies on the FM band and have been
progressively moving to put a national FM network in place.
"Clearly, Sydney is the jewel in the crown in that respect and because of
its national compatibility with existing Austereo stations, 2DAY-FM has always
been the obvious and most desirable station for us in the nation's largest and
most profitable city."
2DAY-FM is widely regarded as Australia's most profitable radio station
with a strong revenue base and moderate running costs. As 2DAY-FM managing
director, and former founder of the Wesgo Ltd radio group, Mr Bob Scott, said:
"This is a tremendous arrangement between two of Australia's leading media
players and provides Austereo with real strength in the Sydney market."
In addition to 2DAY-FM, Austereo's radio network consists of 3FOX-FM
Melbourne, 4BK Brisbane, SA-FM Adelaide, FM104 and 2CA Canberra, The Eagle in
Perth and an interest in SEA-FM on the Gold Coast.
For Broadcast Investments, the deal signals a review of the company's
radio and television interests in Austereo and, as the owner of television
station, NWS9 Adelaide.
Mr Conde said: "We have cash, a position in Austereo and a television
station in Adelaide. We are looking at a number of opportunities in media and
outside of it.
"What we've done with the radio station is a good manoeuvre. We didn't
want to just sell the station as the family has been involved in commercial
radio since 1925."