Grant Broadcasters sale completed

HT&E Limited has finalised its acquisition of Grant Broadcasters.

The deal was completed for “consideration of $307.5 million on a cash and debt free basis,” according to the company’s Australian stock exchange notification.

The transaction signals a significant digital audio expansion for HT&E, “through the unlocking of new growth markets and audiences” and consolidates HT&E’s position as a leading audio company with its expanded ARN radio network and iHeartRadio streaming and podcast platform.

HT&E acquired 46 of Grant Broadcasters’ radio and digital operations across the country in the deal, announced on 12 November last year.

When combined with ARN’s existing 13 stations, ARN now owns 58 stations across 33 markets plus 46 DAB+ stations. Due to ACMA licence area ownership regulations, ARN will sell its Brisbane Classic Hits station 4KQ.

The acquisition price represents about 8.7 times EBITDA and about 10.3 earnings (EBIT) for the last 12 months to June 2021. Returns to share holders are expected to increase as a result of the acquisition.

HT&E is funding the acquisition through its existing cash reserves, financing facilities and the issuance of HT&E shares. It recently sold its Soprano and Ooh Media stake to bolster its war chest for this deal.

35.9 million HT&E shares have been issued to Grant Broadcasters, giving Grant Broadcasters a shareholding of 11.55% in HT&E.

Grant Broadcasters has nominated one representative, Alison Cameron (current CEO, Grant Broadcasters), to join the HT&E Board. Her appointment begins today. She will step down from her position as Grant Broadcasters CEO to comply with media ownership rules.



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5 Jan 2022 - 7:31 pm

The only operator who is truly national. It is a good fit. Pity they have to sell 4KQ.

6 Jan 2022 - 7:53 am

ARN have a choice in overlap divestment.

Retain 4KQ and sell Hot 91 and River949.

ARN’s current choice to divest 4KQ indicates a lack of success, expertise, willingness or all of the above to commercialise the outstanding performance of KQ of the past two years.

Commonsense that two metro licences, if managed correctly will return more turnover and profit than half of one metro licence and two nearby regional licences that agencies overlook to spend money with.

That ARN consider half of 973, River and Hot to be more useful long term than half of 973 and 4KQ is ambitious at best and ill considered at worst.

SEQ beats Brisbane
6 Jan 2022 - 5:54 pm


An AM music station with an average audience age of 55+ vs an FM footprint into two burgeoning provincial markets which give ARN a stronghold in south-east QLD?

I’d say KQ always served a purpose from a programming perspective (stops triple m going older and beating 97.3).

Commercially – I’m not sure so it would be a good money spinner?

Only AM stations making good money are talkback formats

7 Jan 2022 - 9:51 am

@Choice and @SEQbeatsBrisbane

In a podcast interview, Ciaran Davis admitted that, eventhough 4KQ has a good audience in Brisbane, the combined income of the new Grant stations is more than it earns.

7 Jan 2022 - 4:25 pm

AM eventually will convert to FM at some point. Newer vehicles will deletedont AM receivers. ARN know their market and the trend is into digital. Many of Grants stations bleed into the Brissy market anyway. ide say SEN would be interested in buying it and convert 4KQ like 2CH in Sydney. Nova may be interested for a Smooth format and dont discount an interest from The Super Network

7 Jan 2022 - 11:54 pm

River 94.9 has a very similar format to 97.3. If arn had a brain they would rebrand 97.3 to kiis and make river 94.9 like what 97.3 is now. Music on AM is so old and outdated. Arn wanted the 106.9 license which is nova. They just didn’t want to pay $80 million for it. But doesn’t nova own half of 97.3 anyways. Seems odd.

8 Jan 2022 - 7:00 am


Doesn't do what is says on the tin
9 Jan 2022 - 6:00 pm

The fact that River and Hot 91 generated more profit for GB than 4KQ did for ARN is probably directly related to the high staff turnover and excessive syndicated programming keeping costs low at the two regional signals.

KQ converted to FM would probably give it a fighting chance at providing a good revenue base.

10 Jan 2022 - 12:09 pm

Still can’t believe they’d sell 4KQ instead of River/Hot.

Surely at some point they’ll find a way for AM metro stations like 4KQ to convert to FM. Or maybe they could do something radical and promote the fact it’s also on DAB+

At the end of the day 4KQ is the No. 2 overall station in the 3rd biggest city in Australia. If they can’t make enough money out of that then it’s probably down to their own lack of marketing and sales.

I just hope it goes to someone who will preserve and build on its success i.e. not SEN!

ARN had the chance to convert 4KQ to FM in the early 90s for a tiny fraction of what an FM licence is worth now. Shortsighted then, and shortsighted now.

Matt Bone
10 Jan 2022 - 2:39 pm


If they touch river’s format, it’ll kill it.
River has listenership from Toowoomba to Logan
It’s a strong signal with a bit more blokey sound track.


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