Media and entertainment company HT&E (ASX:HT1)
, formerly APN News & Media, through its wholly owned subsidiary ARN, has entered into binding agreements to acquire Grant Broadcasters. The $307.5m purchase is funded 77.5 per cent in cash, through existing cash reserves and undrawn facilities, and 22.5 per cent in new ordinary HT&E shares. The acquisition is set to complete by January 2022, subject to conditions.
Grant Broadcasters is said to be the leading provider of regional radio in Australia, with a portfolio including 38 FM stations and 8 AM stations, including the Kix Country network. ARN operates a number of stations across metropolitan markets, with core brands The KIIS Network, The Pure Gold Network and The Edge. It features a number of well-known personalities, including Kyle & Jackie O in Sydney, Jase & PJ in Melbourne, Robin, Terry & Bob in Brisbane, Erin Phillips & Soda in Adelaide, and The Bunch in Perth.
Among the reasons for the transaction, HT&E cites increased scale, growth potential in regional radio, material synergies between ARN and Grant Broadcasters, and increased advertising opportunities.
Grant Broadcasters CEO Alison Cameron comments: "For 80 years Walter Grant, his daughter Janet Cameron and her family have been operating regional radio stations that serve local communities in regional Australia... There is a strong cultural similarity between the two businesses with both ARN and Grant committed to expertly creating great local content for the communities we serve. Both our companies are profitable enterprises in their own rights, but this partnership will deliver scale, digital acceleration, and ensures our future profitability."
Shares in HT&E (ASX:HT1)
are trading 6.5 per cent higher at $2.12.
See this week's Stockwatch with Chris Pedersen
for recent commentary on HT&E.