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Radio technology group UBC Media’s sale of its traffic, news and entertainment division to Global Traffic Networks (GTN) of America is finally going ahead, eight months after first being agreed, after the pair have restructured the deal. GTN agreed in May to pay £15 for the unit, which makes travel bulletins for Bauer, Global, GMG Radio, UTV and UKRD. But GTN got cold feet as the UK radio industry succumbed to an advertising slump last year, seeking extra time to pore over the outlook for UBC and the rest of the sector here.
Now the pair have agreed on a £9 million price tag, plus GTN will give up to £5.5 million this year and half of any revenues over £12 million for the next two years. Much will depend on what GTN itself can do with its acquisition, which came in under that target in the last financial year at £11.53 million, and it hardly seems worth GTN’s while driving the business over £12 million for the next couple of years. UBC CEO Simon Cole (pictured) is being paid £30,000 not to compete with the outgoing division. UBC COO John Quinn is going over to GTN, with a golden handshake up to £160,000.
The deal suggests GTN still sees some good times ahead for a UK radio industry that’s fast-consolidating and, at least, for a year or two, faces a tough time selling air time. UBC is now left with its technology IP business. Cole (via RNS): “We now need to look to the future as a cash-rich and market leading radio services company incorporating profitable production and interactive businesses. I believe that our position affords us enormous opportunities at this time.”