Craig gets financing

With the injection of $145 million in new capital and an ambitious rollout of services scheduled for the fall, Calgary-based Craig Broadcast Systems is reorganizing its conventional and specialty operations under the brand name Craig Media Inc.

With the injection of $145 million in new capital and an ambitious rollout of services scheduled for the fall, Calgary-based Craig Broadcast Systems is reorganizing its conventional and specialty operations under the brand name Craig Media Inc.

On March 21, private investment banker Providence Equity Partners anted up $110 million for Craig Media, Canada’s largest privately held television broadcasting company, and RBC Capital Markets and BMO Nesbitt Burns secured a $35-million line of credit.

The financing buys out TD Capital’s undisclosed investment in Craig’s Alberta operations, restructures some debt, provides working capital for overall business growth and helps launch toronto|one this fall, says Craig CFO Andy Pernal.

‘This is a milestone event,’ says Pernal. ‘We have the financial wherewithal signed, sealed and delivered to execute our business plan.’

Craig will also debut its fourth specialty network, this one called Stampede, later this year. The company already operates MTV Canada, MTV2 and TV Land, along with A-Channel Calgary, A-Channel Edmonton, A-Channel Manitoba and CKX-TV Brandon.

‘With the toronto|one licence, Craig Media has the unique opportunity to launch a new broadcast television station in Canada’s largest market,’ says Mark Masiello, managing director at Providence Equity Partners. ‘We are excited to support the company in its efforts.’

Meanwhile, real estate company Colliers International has secured 30,000 square feet at 25 Ontario Street in Toronto to house operations of toronto|one.

The lease is temporary for, perhaps three to five years, until the company finds ‘grade-A’ space, says Pernal.

‘[The new space] gets us going and up and running in a comfortable time frame,’ he says.