APN moves to 100% ownership of ARN

APN moves to 100% ownership of ARN

APN News and Media (APN) has announced it is set to take full ownership of the Australian Radio Network (ARN) and The Radio Network (TRN) from US partner Clear Channel Communications for $246.5m.

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The announcement comes as the media company announces its full year results with a statutory net profit after tax of $2.6m compared to the $507.4m loss recorded in 2012.

Michael Miller chief executive of APN, which also has newspaper assets and an interest in outdoor company Adshel, said taking 100% ownership of its Australian and New Zealand radio operations will transform APN.

“The majority of our earnings are now in businesses which have been consistently growing and have considerable further upside. It also gives us flexibility to pursue new revenue generating opportunities across our portfolio of businesses,” Miller said.

“We believe that radio will continue to grow as a medium and that ARN will continue to capture a greater share of the market. ARN has one of the best management teams in the business and with no management changes planned there won’t be any disruption to day-to-day operations.”

ARN’s 2013 results were described as “impressive” with revenue growth of 6% compared to the overall radio market’s growth of 2%. ARN’s EBITDA is up 14% to $58m.

The acquisition has seen an exclusive 10-year deal brokered between APN and Clear Channel which will see APN operate and broadcast digital radio platform iHeartRadio in Australia and New Zealand.

The deal has also provided APN with the option to launch the platform in parts of Asia.

ARN launched iHeartRadio in Australia in August last year. The platform now has more than 270,000 registered users and over 11 million page impressions per month.

Ciaran Davis, chief executive of ARN, said: “Our clear strategy is to become the number one radio FM network in Australia. Having two of the top-rated Sydney breakfast shows in Kyle & Jackie O and Jonesy & Amanda, very strong and established teams in Melbourne, number one commercial radio stations in Brisbane and Adelaide and now iHeartRadio, results in a huge cumulative impact on the whole ARN network.

“This gives us greater traction with advertisers and the confidence that we can continue to build our market share. iHeartRadio not only gives us scope to grow advertising spend per customer in the key 25-54 segment, it also provides us with access to an expanded, younger audience.”

ARN’s owns or has investments in 12 radio stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra and Perth. Its brands include the Mix and Classic Hits networks as well as the KIIS 1065 in Sydney.

In New Zealand, TRN recorded revenues up 9% to $102.3m with EBITDA up 22% to $20m.