April 5, 1998 17:03

LONDON'S ALTERNATIVE XFM STATION SNATCHED UP BY CAPITAL BIG BOYS

[B]XFM[/B], the capital's alternative music-friendly FM station, has been bought by Capital Radio...

LONDON'S ALTERNATIVE XFM STATION SNATCHED UP BY CAPITAL BIG BOYS
XFM, London's alternative FM radio station, has been bought by the commercial major Capital Radio.

Under the terms of the acquisition - announced on Friday morning (May 1) - Capital have entered into an agreement to acquire 90.1 per cent of Xfm subject to Radio Authority clearance. Capital paid '15.9 million for Xfm which had liabilities of '0.5 million and recorded a '1.7million loss at the end of last year.

The station began broadcasting last September, providing London's only 24-hour alternative music station. Xfm co-founder Chris Parry, who also manages The Cure, retains a 9.9 per cent shareholding in Xfm.

Parry's statement, issued on Friday, says: "I'm delighted that with the backing of Capital Radio, we will be able to build on our achievements, and fulfil Xfm's potential." Xfm will move from its present offices in Charlotte Street to Capital's Leicester Square HQ once the sale goes through.

Xfm was blasted by record company bosses for being "too alternative" in its programming policies at the recent Radio Academy '98 conference in London. In the first quarter of this year, the station achieved a share of 0.6% of total listening hours in London.

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