CHUM Limited announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase all the shares of Craig Media Inc., which includes the three “A Channel” conventional television stations in Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg; CKX, a CBC-affiliate station in Brandon; the newly launched Toronto1 station in Toronto; and the MTV, MTV2 and TV Land digital specialty television channels. The transaction is subject to Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and other approvals and closing conditions customary for this type of transaction.
“This transaction builds on our long history with the Craig family and shared commitment to reach out to local audiences,” said Jay Switzer, President and CEO, CHUM Limited. “CHUM’s aspirations to grow in Western Canada are well known and this acquisition provides us with not only an opportunity to reach Alberta and Manitoba audiences on a conventional television platform, but provides additional digital channels to complement CHUM’s stable of specialty brands.”
“After a thorough review of the strategic alternatives available to the company, we are confident that this transaction is the best option for the future growth of these stations,” said Craig Media President and Chief Executive Officer, Drew Craig. “We expect these stations will benefit significantly from becoming part of CHUM, one of Canada’s leading content providers.”
CHUM Limited expects to be in a position to file an application with the CRTC for transfer of ownership and control of Craig Media’s broadcasting assets mid-May, 2004. In light of CHUM’s ownership of Citytv Toronto and The New VR (CKVR) Barrie, CHUM Limited will commit to the divestiture of Toronto1.
CHUM Limited will purchase 100% of Craig Media Inc. for total cash consideration of $265 million on a debt free basis. CHUM currently plans to finance the purchase with bank debt.
CHUM Limited is being advised by TD Securities on the acquisition. Craig Media Inc. is being advised by RBC Capital Markets.
CHUM Limited is one of Canada’s leading media companies and content providers, owns and operates 30 radio stations, eight local television stations and 18 specialty channels, as well as an environmental music distribution division. CHUM’s original content is seen in over 120 countries worldwide and on new media platforms, including interactive television, wireless services and exclusive CHUM-branded Internet properties.
Headquartered in Calgary Alberta, Craig Media Inc. is Canada’s largest privately-held television broadcasting company with interests in five television stations, including Toronto1, A-Channel Calgary, A-Channel Edmonton, A-Channel Manitoba and CKX-TV Brandon. Craig Media also owns and operates three national digital cable networks: MTV Canada, MTV2 and TV Land.