Indianapolis…Emmis Communications Corporation (Nasdaq: EMMS) today agreed to acquire a 66.5% shareholding in Radio FM Plus AD, a leading radio broadcasting company in Bulgaria, for $3 million.
Emmis will purchase its majority holding from local shareholders and indirectly from British broadcaster GCap Media plc (LSE: GCAP). The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the fourth calendar quarter of 2005.
Radio FM Plus, the first licensed commercial radio station in Bulgaria, is a national network of stations programming a format of adult contemporary music and news. Radio FM Plus also holds a 40% shareholding in Fresh! FM, which is a national network programming a CHR format.
Bulgaria, which is strategically located in southeastern Europe, has a population of 7.5 million and is expected to join the European Union in 2007.
The transaction is subject to customary conditions, covenants and adjustments, including regulatory approval in Bulgaria. Closing is expected to occur in November 2005. With the addition of Bulgaria, Emmis will operate radio stations in four countries in Europe, as well as the United States. Emmis International owns and operates national stations or networks in Belgium (Be One), Hungary (Sláger Rádió) and Slovakia (Rádio Expres).
Emmis Communications — Great Media, Great People, Great Service®
Emmis is an Indianapolis-based diversified media firm with radio broadcasting, television broadcasting and magazine publishing operations. Emmis owns 22 FM and 2 AM domestic radio stations serving the nation’s largest markets of New York, Los Angeles and Chicago as well as Phoenix, St. Louis, Austin, Indianapolis and Terre Haute, IN. In May Emmis announced its intent to seek strategic alternatives for its 16 television stations, and the Company has announced signed definitive agreements to sell 13 of them. In September the Company announced it had signed an agreement to sell St. Louis radio station WRDA-FM. Emmis owns a radio network, international radio stations, regional and specialty magazines and ancillary businesses in broadcast sales and book publishing.