Grant Broadcasters CEO Alison Cameron and ARN CEO Ciaran Davis have told radioinfo that staff at Grant Broadcaster stations are not at risk of cost cutting after ARN announced the acquisition of Grant Broadcasters today.
” We had discussions about that with Ciaran during the merger and I know that ARN is not looking at sackings,” said Alison Cameron. “Their philosophy is that our family will become part of their family.”
There is a regulatory factor that will also make staff breathe easy, the ACMA will consider this acquisition a ‘trigger event’ which will require the new owner of the stations to keep staffing at the same levels as it is today for two years.
Ciaran Davis told radioinfo that the stations are run well with a good profit margin of about 35%, so this is not an acquisition process where there is fat to trim.
“They have a live and local strategy like us, we have a similar philosophy, so we think this will work well for everyone… we are not looking to cut costs, we are looking to expand revenue by increasing advertising to national advertisers.”
Alison Cameron will join the board of HT & E, while other members of the family will continue to be involved in radio through the Geelong station’s company Geelong Broadcasters and some remaining stations, held jointly with Kevin Blyton’s company Capital Radio.
The Radio Sales Network (TRSN) has also been acquired by ARN as part of the deal, as has the land, buildings and transmission equipment associated with each station.
The acquisition is funded by $238 million from HT&E’s cash reserves, the recent sale of HT&E’s stake in oOH Media and the company’s existing debt facility. Grant Broadcasters will also gain shares in HT&E with a value of $1.93 per share.
The deal is expected to complete on 30 November and will give ARN coverage across Australia.