Torstar has announced that the company has acquired an approximate 25% interest in Blue Ant Media Inc., a newly established independent media company led by media veteran Michael MacMillan. In addition to a controlling interest in GlassBOX Television, which operates specialty channels Travel+Escape, Bite TV and AUX TV, Blue Ant Media owns a minority interest in Quarto Communications (Cottage Life, Outdoor Canada, Explore and Canadian Home Workshop).
Blue Ant Media also announced today it has entered into an agreement to acquire Canadian broadcaster High Fidelity HDTV Inc. and its four premium high definition channels – Oasis HD, eqhd, radX and HIFI. The transaction is pending CRTC approval. Blue Ant Media will initially purchase 29.9% of shares in High Fidelity HDTV, with the remaining 70.1% closing subject to CRTC approval. As part of this transaction, private equity firm Providence Equity Capital Markets has committed to providing additional financing to Blue Ant Media for the completion of the acquisition of High Fidelity HDTV.
Torstar’s investment in Blue Ant Media will be $22.7M following the completion of the acquisition of 100% of High Fidelity HDTV.
“We view the investment in Blue Ant Media as strategic, providing Torstar with the opportunity to further diversify our Canadian media asset base” said David Holland, President and CEO of Torstar Corporation. “We see the potential in Michael’s vision for a new kind of media company in Canada and we are very pleased to be involved.”
Michael MacMillan, CEO, Blue Ant Media said “We are very happy to have Torstar as a partner as we establish and grow a new kind of media company in Canada. In addition to their equity support, we look forward to working with Torstar’s Canadian media operation as the media landscape continues to evolve.”