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Broadcast deal volume reached $486.8 mn in Q4 2015: SNL Kagan

MUMBAI: Broadcast station mergers & acquisitions (M&A) volume reached $486.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to SNL Kagan.

Radio reached $160.4 million while TV registered deals worth $326.4 million.

The SNL Kagan report finds that the total is low compared to the more than $3 billion of the previous quarter, but it is still more than the deal volume of the first half of the year.

Highlights from the SNL Kagan report:

  • There were no billion-dollar deals in the fourth quarter and only one transaction of more than $100 million was made. But with 37 transactions of $1 million or more, Q4 delivered a similarly solid number of million-dollar deals as the previous quarter (38 deals over $1 million).
  • The TV market ended the year with an average 8.4x forward seller’s multiple (0.1 point higher than at the end of Q3). The radio cash flow (c.f.) multiple remained unchanged at 6.7x.
  • The top TV deal and the only hundred-million-dollar deal of the quarter was Nexstar Broadcasting Group Inc.’s $130 million/8.4x c.f. acquisition of the CBS outlets in the West Virginia markets of Charleston-Huntington, Bluefield-Beckley-Oak Hill and Wheeling, as well as the NBC affiliate in Clarksburg, W.Va., from West Virginia Media Holdings.
  • In a twist to the usual spectrum aggregator model, LocusPoint Networks LLC  sold three of its stations — WMJF-CD in Baltimore, W33BY in Detroit and WBNF-CD in Buffalo, N.Y. — to HME Equity Fund II LLC for$23.75 million. LocusPoint and its backers Blackstone Group had acquired the stations in 2012-2014 for a total of $4.83 million and may have wanted to earn a return on some of the capital invested to date, and/or concentrate on a smaller number of high-demand markets.
  • The top news in the radio sector was the second-largest radio deal of the year, Wilks Broadcast Group LLC’s $54.0 million/8.1x c.f. sale of its three-station cluster in the Denver market to sports and real estate mogul Stan Kroenke’s Kroenke Sports & Entertainment LLC. Wilks, who is exiting the radio business, also found buyers for its Columbus, Ohio, stations. The company sold WLVQ to Saga Communications Inc. for$13.0 million/7.4x while Radio One Inc. purchased WHOK and WZOH for $2.0 million.