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Pace of Station Deals Picking Up

Pace of Station Deals Picking Up

Will 2004 bring one or more blockbuster buyouts of radio groups?
No one can say for sure, but BIA Financial Network does expect a slight increase in the overall value of station transactions. It thinks that 900 to 1,200 radio stations will be bought and sold this year, with an estimated value of $3 billion to $5 billion.
Last year, the number of stations sold increased, from 769 to 925, while the value dropped, from $5.4 billion to $2.4 billion. But in four of the last five months of 2003, the number of stations sold was higher than in 2002, in some cases significantly.
“Even with lackluster sales in the early part of 2003, we did see renewed interest and activity in the later part of the year,” said the company’s Mark Fratrik.
“This increased activity, along with a healthy economy, a recovering advertising marketplace and continued low interest rates, suggests that radio station trading should increase throughout 2004 and that values of radio stations should also increase at a reasonable rate.”