Blue Ant Media Enters Agreement to Acquire High Fidelity HDTV
Torstar Corporation Set to Take 25% Ownership Stake in Blue Ant Media
Providence Equity Capital Markets Has Committed to Providing Additional Financing to Facilitate the Transaction
TORONTO, Dec. 21, 2011 /CNW/ - Blue Ant Media (the "Company") announced today it has entered into an agreement to acquire Canadian broadcaster High Fidelity HDTV and its four premium high definition channels - Oasis HD, eqhd, radX and HIFI HD. The transaction is pending CRTC approval. The Company will initially purchase 29.9% of shares in High Fidelity HDTV, with the remaining 70.1% closing subject to CRTC approval.
Blue Ant Media is a newly established independent media company led by media veteran Michael MacMillan. In addition to its controlling interest in GlassBOX Television, which operates Travel+Escape, Bite TV and AUX TV, Blue Ant Media owns a minority interest in Quarto Communications (Cottage Life, Outdoor Canada, Explore and Canadian Home Workshop).
Also being announced today, Torstar Corporation has invested in Blue Ant Media, taking a 25% ownership stake in the Company. In addition, Providence Equity Capital Markets has committed to providing additional financing to Blue Ant Media as part of the High Fidelity HDTV acquisition.
"We believe it's a great time to establish and grow a new kind of media company in Canada and our investments in High Fidelity and GlassBOX provide a robust and complementary offering for audiences," said Michael MacMillan, CEO, Blue Ant Media. "We are pleased Torstar Corporation sees the opportunity with our company. Their participation along with Providence will further boost the support of our properties."
"Torstar Corporation sees the investment in Blue Ant Media as strategic, providing the opportunity to further diversify our Canadian media asset base," said David Holland, CEO, Torstar Corporation. "We see the potential in Michael's vision for a new kind of media company in Canada and are very pleased to be involved."
"GlassBOX looks forward to joining with High Fidelity under the Blue Ant umbrella," said Raja Khanna, CEO, GlassBOX Television. "The combined business will provide increased opportunities to engage audiences with great content on all platforms."
"It's a perfect strategic fit for High Fidelity," said Ken Murphy, President, High Fidelity HDTV. "One that positions our premium channels for continued success in the rapidly changing media environment."
High Fidelity HDTV and Blue Ant Media intend to swiftly submit an application to the CRTC for approval of the acquisition. CIBC World Markets Inc. and GMP Securities L.P. acted as financial advisors to Blue Ant Media.
Blue Ant Media is a privately held Canadian media company. It is a majority shareholder of GlassBOX Television and has a minority interest in Quarto Communications, publishers of Cottage Life, Outdoor Canada, Explore and Canadian Home Workshop.
High Fidelity HDTV is Canada's leading HD broadcaster with four highly popular HD channels: Oasis HD (Love Nature), HIFI HD (Music and Art), eqhd (Ideas and Cultures) and radX (Adventure). These premium channels provide Canadians with some of the best non-fiction programming from around the world, including concerts, movies and special programming.
GlassBOX Television is an integrated media company that owns and operates Canadian specialty television networks AUX (focused on music and music culture), BITE TV (focused on satirical comedy shorts, sitcoms and movies) and Travel+Escape channel (home of top-rated travel and adventure themed programs). The company's digital publishing division operates broadband portals (including www.AUX.tv, www.Bite.ca, and www.TravelandEscape.ca), blogs, mobile sites and applications while representing the Canadian online advertising inventory of several major international brands. (www.glassbox.tv)
Torstar Corporation is a broadly based media and book publishing company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TS.B). Its businesses include the Star Media Group led by the Toronto Star, Canada's largest daily newspaper, and digital properties including thestar.com, toronto.com, Workopolis, Olive Media, and eyeReturn Marketing; Metroland Media Group, publishers of community and daily newspapers in Ontario; and Harlequin, a leading global publisher of books for women.
Providence Equity Capital Markets is an affiliate of Providence Equity Partners, the leading global private investment firm specializing in private equity and debt investments in media, communications, information and education companies around the world. The principals of Providence manage funds with over $23 billion in commitments, including $4 billion in debt assets and related commitments. Providence is headquartered in Providence, RI (USA) and has offices in New York, London, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and New Delhi. Visit www.provequity.com for more information.For further information:
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Nikki Lamb Tudico