Recent Radio Station Acquisition Breathes New Life into Small Markets in South Carolina
FLORENCE, S.C. September 11, 2015 —FourBridges Capital Advisors today announced that it initiated the sale of 12 Miller Communications radio stations – with operations in Florence, Orangeburg and Sumter, South Carolina – to Community Broadcasters, a New York-based media group that owns small and mid-sized radio stations, and its financial partner, Northwoods Ventures. FourBridges advised Miller Communications’ majority shareholders in the transaction.
But the deal represents more than Palmetto State stations changing hands.
Following the recession and increased competition for listeners in the digital age, some small market commercial radio stations have faced challenges.
And since media’s deregulation in 1996, the radio industry has experienced an unprecedented merger wave. During the height of activity from 1996 to 2006, more than 20 percent of stations changed ownership per year, according to research gathered by the University of California at Berkley. The consolidations continue to be a regular industry occurrence today.
Striving to be “the voice for the community,” Community Broadcasters’ acquisition effectively protects small market airplay in South Carolina, which may otherwise face increased pressure to merge with nearby, larger markets and lose a hyper-local news and personality focus.
“We’re thrilled to expand our radio company into three fast-growing markets throughout South Carolina. The Miller Communications purchase doubles the size of Community Broadcasters and furthers our strategic vision to grow a small-market radio group throughout the U.S.,” said Jim Leven, president and CEO of Community Broadcasters.
“We were pleased to find a great partner in Community Broadcasters,” said Chris Rowe, a managing director at FourBridges Capital Advisors. “There are very few investors today who really specialize in small markets and have the resources to do it effectively. We are pleased this deal will ensure service to these markets for years to come, because we know a local presence over the airwaves is important to these communities.”
While FourBridges has consulted with Palmetto State businesses for years, the sale of Miller Communications’ 12 radio stations marks the investment banking firm’s first transaction on South Carolina soil.
Both Rowe and Frank Williamson, managing partner of FourBridges Capital Advisors, have deep roots in South Carolina. Rowe received his MBA from the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business and his father, Dr. William E. Rowe, hails from Georgetown and is a scholar and longtime board member of the James F. Byrnes Foundation. Williamson comes from a large South Carolina farming family and grew up in Darlington.
For more information regarding this transaction, please contact Chris Rowe at 423.266.4630.
About FourBridges Capital Advisors
FourBridges Capital is a middle market investment bank that champions Southeastern business owners who are planning or executing important transactions, such as buying and selling a business, borrowing, and raising capital. The senior professionals at FourBridges have been corporate-level executives, and they leverage their extensive capital markets experience to achieve superior results for their clients. FourBridges is headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee.