RIGA - The popular radio station Radio SWH announced on July 9 that it has attracted Ireland's Communicorp Group as a strategic investor.
Radio SWH chairman Zigmars Liepins disclosed neither the size of the stake the Irish have acquired nor the value of the deal, citing confidentiality concerns.
He said that the revenue from the sale of shares would enable the radio station to expand advertising and facilitate opportunities for advertising exchange in Eastern Europe.
As Liepins explained, the deal would not affect the radio station's work, format, advertisers or the management. He said that he would stay on as board chairman.
Radio SWH has three radio stations in Latvia 's Radio SWH, Radio SWH+ and Radio SWH Rock. Established in 1993, Radio SWH was one of the first private radio stations to go on air in Latvia.
The broadcaster has never denied it is a business project that might be sold, Liepins said.
In 2006, Radio SWH reported 2.7 million lats (3.9 million euros) in turnover at a 19 percent rise year on year, while its profit increased 81 percent to 270,100 lats. The company's turnover grew mainly thanks to increasing advertising.
Radio SWH is a stock company, which is why the Latvian business register does not possess exact information on its shareholders.
Irish businessman Denis O'Brian established Communi-corp Group in 1989. The company is a large Irish broadcaster running one of the biggest groups of independent radio stations in Central and Eastern Europe.
At present, Communicorp Group is one of the fastest growing radio networks in Europe, comprising 38 radio stations in seven countries, including six stations in Estonia.