June 1, 2008 / 6:01 AM / 11 years ago

India's Bennett, Coleman buys Virgin Radio for $106 mln- papers

MUMBAI, June 1 (Reuters) - Indian media company Bennett, Coleman & Co has bought Virgin Radio for 4.5 billion rupees ($106 million), local newspapers reported on Sunday, citing a statement from the Indian company.

Bennett, Coleman, publisher of the Times of India paper, bought Virgin Radio Holdings Ltd and its subsidiaries in the UK from Scottish media group SMG Plc SCSMG.L through wholly-owned unit TIML Golden Square Ltd, the Economic Times said.

SMG had put Virgin Radio up for sale as part of its plan to sell off non-core assets.

TIML will manage the station along with Absolute Radio, and invest 15 million pounds in “developing and re-launching the brand” over the next few months, the Economic Times said.

The deal is expected to be completed by June-end, the Times of India said.

Malaysian pay TV operator Astro All Asia Networks AAAN.KL, Global Radio, Absolute Radio and UTV Media UTV.L had been reported to be bidding for Virgin Radio.

Bennett, Coleman also has a presence in television and operates FM radio stations in India.

Indian companies have announced overseas deals worth $7.2 billion so far in 2008, data from Thomson Reuters showed. ($1=42.5 rupees) (Reporting by Rina Chandran; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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