Media group Emap has confirmed it is to sell its consumer magazine and radio businesses to German publishing firm Bauer.

The publisher of popular magazines Closer, FHM and Heat first put itself up for sale in July, when it announced a review of the group's structure and assets as a result of "various unsolicited proposals" it had received.

Emap said it planned to return around £1 billion to shareholders on the completion of the £1.14 billion deal with Bauer.

The proposed sale by the company, whose radio stations include Magic and Kiss, will be subject to shareholder approval at a meeting in January.

In addition the disposal of Emap Radio is conditional on the completion of the sale of the group's Irish radio business, while the takeover of Emap Consumer Media depends on competition clearance being achieved in Germany and Austria.

Emap said it would become a focused business-to-business group once the sale of its radio and magazine operations was completed.

The company had previously considered selling Emap Communications, which organises conferences and trade exhibitions and publishes the magazines Retail Week and Construction News.

However Emap today said its board had determined retaining the division and operating it on a standalone basis would provide the best value for shareholders.

Commenting on the planned changes at the company, Emap executive chairman Alun Cathcart said: "We are pleased to have achieved a successful outcome in the review of Emap's group structure.

"The price achieved for Emap Consumer Media and Emap Radio fully reflects the value of the two divisions."


07/12/2007 10:20:19