The Local Radio Company (LRC), the group run by former Jazz FM chief executive Richard Wheatly, has completed its deal to take control of Spirit FM.
The Local Radio Company (LRC), the group run by former Jazz FM chief executive Richard Wheatly, has completed its deal to take control of Spirit FM.

LRC yesterday paid £1.6m cash and £138,000 in shares for the 53% of Spirit FM that it does not already own from South West Sussex Radio, valuing the station at around £3.5m.

The station - which becomes LRC's 25 thservice - has an audience of 33,000 in Chichester, Bognor Regis and Littlehampton on the south coast of England. Despite its modest size, Spirit FM made a £137,000 profit in the year to 30 September on sales of £925,000.

Wheatly, who is chief executive of LRC, said: 'We are pleased to complete the acquisition of Spirit FM. It is a leading station in its market, has a great team and it will be one of our largest stations on the south coast.'

The acquisition is the latest step in LRC's ambition to grow through small-scale acquisitions. The AIM-listed company has already established clusters of stations in the north-east and south-west of the country and recently acquired Two Boroughs Radio in Lancashire for £2.26m.

Last week in its preliminary results for the year ending 30 September the company reported an operating profit of £324,000 reversing last year's operating loss of £712,000.

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