Boring old radio continues to attract savvy investors.
There are already groups circling, eyeing the radio stations that Astral Media will have to divest as part of its sale to BCE Inc.
Now, Westerkirk Capital Inc., an investment firm founded by one of the members of the Thomson family, is backing the creation of a good-sized new radio company by investing in Vista Broadcast Group. Vista and Westerkirk will then turn around and buy Haliburton Broadcasting Group, whose MooseFM stations broadcast the dock anthems of Ontario’s cottage country.
The result will be a national company with more than 60 broadcast licenses, combining Haliburton’s 24 stations and Vista’s 38 licenses in areas of British Columbia, Alberta and the Northwest Territories.
Why radio? Because it spews money. According to figures from the broadcast regulator, revenue for English language FM stations rose at a 2.9 per cent compound annual growth rate from 2006 to 2010.
The Thomson family, through its Woodbridge Ltd. holding company, also controls the Globe and Mail.