ARN’s parent company HT&E Limited has completed its acquisition of Grant Broadcasters.
HT&E acquired 46 of Grant Broadcasters’ radio and digital operations across the country in a deal announced on 12 November last year.
When combined with ARN’s existing 13 stations, ARN now owns 58 stations across 33 markets plus 46 DAB+ stations. Due to ACMA licence area ownership regulations, ARN will sell its Brisbane Classic Hits station 4KQ.
The deal was completed for “consideration of $307.5 million on a cash and debt free basis,” according to the company’s stock exchange notification.
The transaction signals a significant digital audio expansion for HT&E, “through the unlocking of new growth markets and audiences” and sends a strong signal to advertisers and audiences about the continuing strength of the audio medium.
The acquisition price represents about 8.7 times EBITDA and about 10.3 earnings (EBIT) for the last 12 months to June 2021.
The Grant Broadcasters acquisition is expected to deliver an earnings per share increase of about 20% before synergies and one-off integration costs. HT&E is funding the acquisition through its existing cash reserves, financing facilities and the issuance of HT&E shares. The company recently sold its assets in Soprano and Ooh Media, which increased its cash reserves for this deal.
35,934,891 HT&E shares have been issued to Grant Broadcasters, giving Grant Broadcasters a shareholding of 11.55% in HT&E.
Grant Broadcasters has nominated one representative, Alison Cameron (current CEO, Grant Broadcasters), to join the HT&E Board. Her appointment begins today. Alison has stepped down from her positions on the Grant Broadcasters board and executive to comply with media ownership rules.