Q4 2017 Was a Good Quarter For Deals


Kagan reports that mergers and acquisitions volume reached $748.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 and closed the year at $8.24 billion. It was the highest annual deal volume since 2014 and the third-highest since 2008. Radio deals in Q4 accounted for $248 million while TV hit $500 million. Of course, the biggest radio story of the year was the Entercom/CBS merger. That deal alone accounted for 80% of the radio volume.

Here’s how Kagan calculated the deals in Q4.

October: In the top radio deal of the quarter, Merlin Media sold its last two stations, Chicago’s Alternative WKQX-FM and Classic Rock WLUP-FM. The stations have been operated under a local marketing agreement by Cumulus Media Inc. since 2014. Cumulus has now exercised a $50.0 million purchase option, which translates to an average $2.94 per pop for both stations.

December: The only other large radio deal was the radio portion of the TEGNA acquisition in San Diego. Kagan allocated $22.0 million of the total to KFMB-AM/FM.

A large part of the quarter’s radio deal volume stems from estimates of station swaps. Entercom Communications Corp. had to divest a number of stations to comply with FCC ownership rules after its merger with CBS Radio. Entercom therefore engaged in station swaps with iHeartMedia Inc. and Beasley Broadcast Group Inc., trading eleven of its stations for seven iHeartMedia stations, one Beasley station and $12.0 million in cash. In total, Kagan estimated the total value of these two swaps at $148.0 million.



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