Johannesburg – Gauteng-based youth radio station Yfm 99.2 is in talks to buy a radio station in Nigeria and is also looking for opportunities in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
Dirk Hartford, a director of special projects at Yfm, described Nigeria as “a huge market that offers various possibilities for us”.
Hartford said Yfm was in advanced talks to buy a newly formed youth radio station based in Lagos. He would not disclose the name of the radio station or the media firm that owned it.
“We are at an advanced stage of due diligence, which could enable us to estimate the size of the radio station in Lagos,” he said.
Yfm is controlled by listed black empowerment firm Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI), which also owns independent free-to-air television channel
Minority investors own 26 percent of Yfm.
Yfm is well known for its breakfast show hosted by DJ Fresh and Thato, and the Harambe hip-hop show hosted by Bad Boy T.
The station can be accessed elsewhere in South Africa (outside Yfm’s Gauteng footprint) and outside the country via MultiChoice’s DStv terrestrial satellite broadcast platform.
Yfm programmes are familiar to teenagers in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital. The station could be heard through local terrestrial stations via internet and satellite links until earlier this month when the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission banned the broadcast of news and news magazine programmes by terrestrial or digital stations. Terrestrial or digital stations rely on radio signals or internet links to broadcast channels.
Nigeria’s broadcasting regulator has since issued 11 new radio broadcast licences and eight “special” radio station licences. These licences are in addition to the country’s existing 32 private radio stations and 11 public radio channels.
Hartford would not disclose any details of Yfm’s plans or how HCI would help the station establish or buy radio stations in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
In 2003, the Kenyan and Ugandan markets attracted the attention of empowerment firm New Africa Investments Limited (Nail), which owns a 24.9 percent stake in Gauteng-based radio station Kaya FM. Nail regarded both markets as being viable and worth exploring.
Yfm could also explore local opportunities. Earlier this week, the Independent Communications Authority of SA invited applications for four new commercial radio licences in Mpumalanga, the Northern Cape, North West and Limpopo.

Source: Business Report – Guguiakhe Masango