Australia’s largest independent FM radio station has finally been sold after a tempting offer from a regional network.
The Hot Tomato Broadcasting Company and Grant Broadcasters have announced an agreement for the sale of the 102.9 Hot Tomato Gold Coast licence and business. Due diligence has been finalised with settlement and completion of the contract slated for November 30, 2018.
A sale price was not revealed, but there has been speculation the station sold for close to $30m.
Grant Broadcasters, established in 1942, is a family owned and operated group with a portfolio of 52 commercial radio station licences across the country.
Hot Tomato Broadcasting, also a family owned and operated company, was established in 2002 when it purchased the Gold Coast licence at a federal government auction. 102.9 Hot Tomato first went to air on August 1, 2003.
The Torv family, brothers Hans and Jaan and sister Anna (once married to Rupert Murdoch), paid $26m for the licence and then reportedly spent another $4m to get it to air.
Alison Cameron, Grant Broadcasters’ newly appointed CEO, stated: “We are thrilled to welcome Hot Tomato to the Grant Broadcasters family. The station’s ethos of live and local fits firmly into the values of our company and our other local radio stations. The Hot Tomato team has done an outstanding job in being the leading voice of the local community on the Gold Coast.”
Hot Tomato executive chairman Hans Torv said: “We have been approached by different groups a number of times about selling the business and, after consideration, the board implemented an expression of interest campaign. It was also time for us to either scale up or move on. The cultural fit with Grants was particularly important – they are genuine radio people, as are all the Hot Tomato team. This presents great opportunities for both the business and the terrific staff who have made Hot Tomato the success it is today.”
Top Photo: Hot Tomato’s breakfast show hosts Flan, Emily Jade and Christo with Amy Shark