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Australia: Major Radio Merger Bid

January 31, 2011: Australia's Southern Cross Media has offered $741 million, or about $736 million U.S., for fellow broadcaster Austereo Group. The Wall Street Journal calls it a "friendly" bid and says Southern Cross intends to issue new shares to fund the transaction.

Regional network Southern Cross says it has the largest commercial radio network in the nation, with 68 stations in 38 markets. The proposed deal is subject to review by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Austereo Chairman Peter Harvie said, "This transaction is a good outcome for our shareholders, our clients, our talent, and our people. I'm very enthusiastic about the potential of the combined business, the value that will be created through this transaction, and working together with the SCM to realize the future potential."