Indianapolis – Emmis Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: EMMS) today announced agreements to sell Denver radio station KALC-FM (‘Alice’) to Entercom Communications Corporation (ETM) and Denver radio station KXPK-FM (‘The Peak’) to Entravision Communications Corporation (EVC).
The sale price is $88 million for KALC-FM (Entercom) and $47.5 million for KXPK-FM (Entravision). Combined, the properties are expected to yield cash flow of $3.5 million this year. The deal, which is accretive, is a major step in Emmis’ plan to deleverage its balance sheet.
“Radio remains our principal focus of growth for the company,” Emmis Chairman & CEO Jeff Smulyan said. “When the Tribune Company’s Denver stations became available and we saw what kinds of prices were being offered for those stations, we realized that it made more sense to be sellers than to be buyers.”
Smulyan stated that Emmis’ primary emphasis has been lowering its debt levels, and that this transaction, along with the cost reductions that have been put into effect — including a 10% wage reduction (implemented in December 2001) — have substantially moved the company in that direction.
Emmis purchased KXPK-FM from Clear Channel/AMFM in August 2000, and acquired KALC-FM from Salem Communications Corporation in January 2001. There are 73 full and part-time employees at the stations.
Emmis filed a Form 8-K today which provides selected quarterly pro forma information to reflect these transactions.
Entercom will begin operating KALC-FM under a time brokerage agreement that is expected to begin in early to mid-March. Emmis will continue operating KXPK-FM until the sale to Entravision closes. Both deals, which are subject to several conditions, including approvals from the Federal Communications Commission and other regulatory agencies, are expected to close by the end of May.