HT&E acquires Grant Broadcasters

Mariam Cheik-Hussein
By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 12 November 2021
Ciaran Davis

HT&E, the owner of broadcaster ARN, has acquired Grant Broadcasters, expanding the company’s radio presence across Australia.

The sale is worth $307.5 million. Of that, 22.5% of the purchase consideration will be delivered to Grant Broadcasters in HT&E shares, equating to an ~11% holding in HT&E.

Grant Broadcasters current CEO Alison Cameron will join the HT&E board and current COO Rick Lenarcic will join ARN’s executive leadership team.

The acquisition includes Gran Broadcasters’ 46 stations across FM and AM. This will combine with ARN’s existing 12 stations to give it reach in every state and territory in Australia.

HT&E says the deal will allow it to expand its audience bases and fast-track the delivery of digital audio content and advertising opportunities.

“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,” says HT&E MD and ARN CEO Ciaran Davis.

“As the leading metropolitan audio network and leading regional radio network come together, our commitment to live and local content is completely unwavering.

“It means that through the voices of talent that local markets know and love, ARN will connect via multi-platform content across a broadcast and digital distribution network reaching more than 8 million people. It presents an appealing proposition for our clients, listeners, staff and shareholders alike.”

“The recent successful resolution of HT&E’s tax matter with the ATO for $71m, and the gain of $31m on the divestment of our OML stake, significantly strengthened our balance sheet as we prepared for this transaction.

"Our disciplined approach to capital management and creation of shareholder value is further demonstrated by the accretive nature of this transaction that is being funded through existing cash reserves, financing facilities and the issuance of new shares to Grant Broadcasters.”

HT&E reported half-year revene growth of 21% to $110 million, EBITDA of +55% and a net cash position of $122 million.

“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,” says Grant Broadcasters CEO Alison Cameron.

“We are so very proud of the connection the stations have with those communities and of our staff for continuing that commitment.

“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. Together we’ll be an elevated team of dedicated audio professionals who live and breathe our local audiences.

“Both our companies are profitable enterprises in their own right but this partnership will deliver scale, digital acceleration, and ensures our future profitability.”

Due to ACMA regulations, ARN will be required to sell 4KQ as a result of the company reaching its threshold of broadcast licenses in the broader Brisbane region.


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