November 01, 1999
LIBERTY MEDIA BUYS INTO EMMIS
John Malone's Liberty Media Group jumped full swing into the radio industry, buying a 14% stake in radio broadcaster Emmis Communications Corp. for roughly $150 million.
posted on November 01, 1999 11:29 PM
It's Liberty's first foray into a business that, like cable, has undergone rapid consolidation. And according to Liberty executives and analysts, there's more to come.
"In the radio business, we think there's at least one more round of consolidation," said Liberty president/CEO Robert "Dob" Bennett during a conference call to discuss the deal. "And, hopefully, with this investment and with the public offering that Emmis is doing they'll be well positioned to play an important roll in that consolidation."
Indeed, analysts say that some $4.5 billion of radio assets are expected to come out of the $23 billion merger of mega-radio concerns Clear Channel Communications Inc. and AMFM Inc., which was announced in early October. The combined companies must divest of the properties in order to pass regulatory hurdles.
While Emmis has recently been sitting on the sidelines during rapid radio consolidation, it has begun positioning itself to start gaining size.