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Larry Wilson Makes His Move

As we reported early on Friday, former Citadel CEO Larry Wilson has purchased Triad Broadcasting for $21 million. Triad has 32 stations in five markets: Peoria, Fargo, Biloxi, Hilton Head, and Bluefield. Radio Ink has also learned that this deal is approximately 5X cash flow and could be even less (with receivables).

This week, bankers at Radio Ink's Forecast 2013 in New York City said there would not be a lot of M&A over the next five years and deals that do take place should come in at 6-7X cash flow. The low multiple for Triad's 32 stations seemed to just about shock brokers and group heads who were told. All they could assume was Triad's investors, Bank of America and Shamrock Capital, wanted out.

Wilson will operate this group of stations separately from Alpha Broadcasting, calling the new group L&L Radio, for "Live and Local." Bob Fuller, with whom Wilson has worked closely for a long time, will be part of the new company. Bob Proffitt, Donna Heffner, and Scott Mahalick will also join the L&L team. Wilson owns six stations under the Alpha name in Portland, Oregon.

In the official press release Wilson said, “We are very excited about the acquisition of the radio assets of Triad.  After visiting each market and meeting with the great people David has assembled, we are more energized than ever to grow dominant clusters, assemble world-class talent, and develop even more live and local programming to serve the wonderful communities that are home to these radio stations.” 

Also in the release, Triad founder and CEO, David Benjamin, said, “We could not be more proud of our stations and the great people who staff them. Our quality personnel, service to our communities, and financial track record have truly set a standard for small and mid-market radio. We are absolutely delighted to turn these properties over to L&L CEO Larry Wilson and his team, with whom we are like-minded regarding both the critical importance of professional local staffing and the necessity of excellence in local programming. We wish Larry every success as he builds on this Triad foundation.”  

Piper Jaffrey assisted L&L in the transaction. Waller Capital advised Triad. The deal is pending FCC approval with an anticipated closing of the spring of 2013. 

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