Rumored for days, Townsquare Media confirmed today the broadcaster plans to acquire a total of 71 stations from Cumulus Media Holdings and Peak II Holding.
Once closed, the deals would make Townsquare Media the third-largest group owner by station count with a total of 312 stations. The company says it would still be focused on facilities in small and medium-sized markets. Townsquare owns stations, their associated websites and an e-commerce business, and music and entertainment-focused digital properties.
Townsquare Media Chair/CEO Steven Price says the deals allow the broadcaster to reach a scale that opens the door to new strategic opportunities. “The assets we are adding to our portfolio are market-leading brands with strong competitive positions in their respective small and mid-sized markets. We are excited by the opportunity to deploy our differentiated local-media strategy across a broader footprint in order to better serve our communities and our advertising clients.”
Townsquare is acquiring assets including 53 radio stations in 12 markets from Cumulus for cash. Three will be assigned to a divestiture trust to remain within the ownership caps. The stations are in these markets: Battle Creek, Mich.; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Danbury, Conn.; Faribault-Owatonna, Minn.; Kalamazoo, Mich.; Lansing, Mich.; Portland, Maine; Portsmouth-Dover-Rochester, N.H.; Quad Cities, Iowa-Ill.; Rochester, Minn.; Rockford, Ill.; and Waterloo, Iowa.
In a second transaction, Townsquare is acquiring Peak, which owns assets including 11 radio stations in two markets (Boise, Idaho and Fresno, Calif.) for cash and equity units of Townsquare.
In a third arrangement, Townsquare will exchange five stations in Fresno that it’s acquiring from Peak, for 15 Cumulus radio stations in two markets (Dubuque, Iowa and Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) and cash.
Here’s how Townsquare gets to a total of 71 new stations: It’s acquiring a total of 68 Cumulus stations. Three of those will be assigned to a divestiture trust. Townsquare is acquiring 11 Peak stations; five of those will be exchanged to Cumulus, giving Townsquare a net increase of 71 stations.
Townsquare expects to finance the deals with a mix of secured and unsecured debt financing, Townsquare equity units and cash. Pending regulatory approval, the deals are expected to close in the fourth quarter.
McDermott, Will & Emery, Kirkland & Ellis and Drinker Biddle & Reath acted respectively as transaction, financing and FCC counsel to Townsquare in connection with the deals.
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