Glacier Media acquires leading Okanagan news company

Glacier also announces sale of its interest in Fundata Canada Inc.

Glacier Media announced Friday (April 5) it has acquired Castanet Media, a leading source of local media and related information in the Okanagan region of British Columbia.

The $22 million acquisition of the digital brand allows Glacier to expand its online community news sources in B.C.

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“Castanet’s growth and market position, as well as the growth of Glacier Digital Media’s operations, demonstrate that a long-term digital business model exists in community media that offers attractive growth in audience development, revenue and profitability,” said Glacier in a statement.

“The company (Glacier) is building its digital media business through a combination of local community websites, digital marketing services and specialty products and services. The combination of these three offerings allows the company to develop its own audience and products and satisfy the comprehensive marketing needs of its customers.”

Glacier also purchased for $2 million Avenue Radio, which operates a station in Kelowna. That sale of the station is subject to Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission approval.

Castanet.net operates newsrooms in Penticton, Kelowna and Vernon and has about 50 staff members.

Glacier’s presence in the British Columbia Interior expands from its existing Kamloops newsroom KamloopsMatters.com. Glacier’s largest B.C. news presence is in the Metro Vancouver and Victoria regions with such publications as Vancouver Courier, Vancouver is Awesome, Business in Vancouver, Burnaby Now, North Shore News, Richmond News, Delta Optimist, Tri-Cities News, and the Victoria Times-Colonist.

For 18 years Castanet.net has grown steadily and now attracts 35 million monthly page views.

Glacier also announced the sale of its interest in Fundata Canada Inc. via Glacier affiliate GVIC Communications Corp. The $55 million deal for the investment fund database is said to allow Glacier “to both reduce leverage and provide capital for acquiring businesses the company can own and operate directly that fit strategically with its operations in data, analytics and intelligence and digital media.”

Glacier stated the combination of the proceeds from the sale of the interest in Fundata and the unsecured loan will maintain debt levels, provide financial flexibility and provide for future strategic acquisition opportunities.

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