May 22, 2012
By: John Clark
Nassau Broadcasting Partners, which owns a small army of radio stations across the United States, was sold in bankruptcy court this week to five different buyers, according to a report from Fox Business.
Sources indicate that the broadcasting company sold its assets to five different purchasers, including an affiliate of Goldman Sachs, which bought the majority of the company’s radio stations.
The affiliate of Goldman Sachs paid $37.9 million for 11 radio stations centered in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The Goldman Sachs affiliate had been one of the three major creditors that forced Nassau to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last September.
According to an order filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware, Nassau “demonstrated good, sufficient and sound business reasons and compelling circumstances to enter into the purchase agreement.”
Additionally, the court agreed with Nassau and its creditors that the “sale transaction is reasonably believed to be the only viable alternative to liquidation of the debtors' assets under Chapter 7.” So, instead of liquidation, Nassau agreed to sell off its radio stations.
In addition to the Goldman Sachs sale, Nassau also sold three Maryland radio stations to Manning Broadcasting Inc. for a little under $7 million. Interestingly, in 2004, Nassau purchased two of these radio stations for $18 million, which reveals how desperate the company was to settle some of its debts in the current sale.
Other transactions included the sale of three radio stations in Cape Cod, Massachusetts for $2.7 million. And the sale of a Catholic radio station in Maine for $250,000.
A few months ago, Nassau was allowed to convert its Chapter 7 petition into a Chapter 11 filing after convincing the court and its creditors that it should be allowed to continue operations at its radio stations so they could retain some of their value.
In recent years, traditional radio broadcasters have faced increased competition from satellite radio stations and Internet broadcasting services. As competition has increased, advertising revenue has declined, mirroring the same problems experienced by broadcast television and the print media.
Nevertheless, millions of Americans still tune in to basic AM and FM radio stations, so these assets are not yet valueless.
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