The owners of RNI were two Swiss businessmen, Erwin Meister and Edwin Bollier - the combined initials of their surnames (MEister and BOllier) gave their electronics company its name - MEBO Telecommunications AG.
Erwin Meister and Edwin Bollier had known each other from their school days and, after graduating from university, they went into business together beginning with the purchase of a car-radio patent. Among their other business interests they also owned the disco at the Nova Park Hotel and the "High-Life Club" in Zurich. The two men were keen amateur radio enthusiasts and operated their own amateur broadcasting facility in Switzerland.
In 1968, they won a very lucrative contract to install a communications network for the International Red Cross between Europe and Eastern Nigeria to facilitate the aid operation during the war in Biafra, making possible the largest humanitarian airlift since the Berlin blockade in 1948.
In the same year Meister and Bollier became involved in the technical side of a planned German offshore radio project, originally named Radio Gloria and later known as Radio Noordsee. Ultimately the project failed to materialise, but the two Swiss businessmen decided to pursue a plan of their own to launch an offshore radio station serving the whole of Europe from an anchorage in the North Sea.