3MP sold to Data & Commerce

Data & Commerce Ltd, the owners of 3AK, have bought 3MP and will merge the two in a duopoly. DCL will acquire 100% of the issued capital in Malbend Pty Ltd which operates 3MP. The deal comprises a cash payment of $4.5 million and the issue of 8 million new shares in DCL to Goulburn Valley Broadcasters Pty Ltd.

The strategy for the new merged entity is to deliver significant benefits through combined sales operations, sharing of administration and in complementary programming. It is anticipated that savings in operating expenses for the duopoly will be in excess of $1 million per annum. DCL bought 3AK in January this year. The transaction is subject to completion of due diligence and appropriate approvals.

The Managing Director of DCL, Mr Jeff Chatfield, said: “The two stations share demographics and psychographics in Melbourne, and fit very well together as a duopoly. We expect consistent benefits from the creation of this merger for our advertising customers, our listeners, and ultimately our shareholders. We have a strong commitment to the emerging digital broadcasting market, and we see this as totally consistent with developing opportunities in broadcasting and digital spectrum.”

The stations currently attract 20 % of the 40 plus demographic in Melbourne, and will be looking to build significantly on this as a result of the merger. It is expected that the formats of the stations will be retained. A joint newsrooom could also be a possibility.

The CEO of 3AK, John Jost said: “Merging AK and MP is tremendous news for Melbourne radio listeners and advertisers. It will allow for better programming on both stations and create terrific synergies for advertisers. A strong new radio force in Melbourne is needed to shake up the complacent self-serving Melbourne radio establishment.”