HT&E completes Grant Broadcasters acquisition

ARN’s parent company Here, There, & Everywhere, (HT&E) has completed its acquisition of Grant Broadcasters. The acquisition will mean the amalgamation of Australian Radio Network (ARN) and one of Australia’s oldest regional radio company, Grant Broadcasters, under one company.

The sale is worth $307.5 million on a cash and debt free basis, with 22.5% in HT&E shares, equating to 11% holding in HT&E. Grant’s current CEO Alison Cameron will be joining the HT&E Board and current COO Rick Lenarcic joining ARN’s executive leadership team.

The transaction will see HT&E acquire 46 of Grant Broadcasters’ radio and digital operations across the country in a deal which was announced on 12 November last year.

The partnership will significantly scale up ARN’s offering. When combined with ARN’s existing 13 stations, ARN will now control 58 stations across 33 markets plus 46 DAB+ stations, resulting in a presence in every state and territory in Australia and an accelerated rollout of ARN’s iHeartRadio digital audio platform into regional areas.

Due to ACMA regulations, ARN was required to sell 4KQ, caused by the company reaching its threshold of broadcast licenses in the broader Brisbane region.

HT&E MD and ARN CEO, Ciaran Davis, said: “It is rare that an asset of this quality and strategic fit to our existing portfolio becomes available and we are excited by the opportunities presented by the coming together of these two great businesses.

“The station brands Grant Broadcasters have created have served their local communities with great commitment for decades, playing a pivotal role in the lives of their audiences, and we look forward to continuing that tradition.

Davis said of the 4KQ sale: “4KQ is a station rich in history and a hugely important part of the ARN story and we are sorry to see it leave the network. Laurel, Gary & Mark, Brent James, Nick Michaels and the rest of the 4KQ team have been an incredible asset for the business and it is regrettable that to achieve growth for ARN, we are required to divest the station.”

Last year was a strong year of growth for HT&E with ongoing business acceleration and a consistent COVID recovery. At the half year, revenue had increased by 21% to $110 million, EBITDA of +55% and a net cash position of $122 million.

In August last year, HT&E continued its recovery in the first half of the 2021 calendar year, reporting a 21% increase in group revenue to reach $109.9 million.

At the time, Davis, broke down the latest financial results with Mumbrella touching on exponential digital growth, and why this round of lockdowns isn’t shaking advertiser confidence.

In November last year, HT&E sold its 4.2% shareholding in Ooh Media for $49 million. The sale, for $1.78 per share, represents a $31 million gain for the media company which acquired the stake in the out of home company last year for $15 million.


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