Vista Radio Ltd. and Westerkirk Capital Inc. today announced that Westerkirk has agreed to purchase all of the shares not owned by management of Vista Radio’s parent company, Vista Broadcast Group Inc. Together, Westerkirk and management plan to build Canada’s leading independent small and mid-market radio broadcaster. To that end, with the support of Westerkirk, Vista Radio has entered into an agreement to purchase the radio broadcast business of Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc., including its 24 small to mid-market radio stations in Ontario. Both transactions remain subject to CRTC approval.
“This is a great investment for Westerkirk,” said Westerkirk’s CEO and President Jim Lawson. “We are partnering with a senior management team that together has over 100 years of radio industry experience. They have combined this experience with recent technological developments to change the way community-based radio is broadcast and they have executed against a growth strategy that we fully support. We look forward to continuing to build the business with them.”
“It is a perfect match for our strategy, which is to invest in stable, growing businesses and to assist management teams implement their strategic plans so that together we can build great businesses and create value over decades, not years,” added Mr. Lawson.
Vista Radio was founded by its senior management team in 2004 and has grown from one to thirty-eight broadcast licenses serving over 50 communities throughout British Columbia, Alberta and the Northwest Territories.
“It is an exciting time for Vista,” said Vista Radio’s CEO and President Margot Micallef. “With our strong management team and our new partnership with Westerkirk we are well positioned to see our vision for Vista become a reality. Quite simply, we want to become the pre-eminent radio broadcaster in Canada. The single most important step we could make in that regard is the acquisition of Haliburton’s radio business. Its markets and company culture are similar to Vista’s and its strong presence in Ontario provides Vista with a base for further expansion.”
“I could not have picked a better successor to continue the legacy we started at Haliburton,” commented Christopher Grossman, CEO and President of Haliburton. “Vista cares in the same way as Haliburton about its employees, listeners and advertisers. Vista will take our radio business to the next level and that will create tremendous opportunities for our employees.”
Haliburton was founded in 1997 by Christopher Grossman. Today Haliburton operates 24 radio stations throughout Ontario, primarily under the strong MooseFM brand, with stations throughout Muskoka cottage country and as far north as Timmins and surrounding communities and as far south as Niagara.