HC2 Completes Bae Buy In Iowa


On June 21, 2018TRANSACTIONS TODAY reported on the sale to the rapidly growing company led by Philip Falcone of a full-power UHF station that as of late has been airing This TV programming for viewers in eastern Iowa.

The station is being sold by the Bae family, and was the market’s affiliate for The CW Network from 2006-2016.

As of Jan. 29, the deal is done.

In an announcement released by broker George W. Kimble of Kozacko Media Services, the Bae family’s KM Television of Iowa has completed its sale of KWKB-25, licensed to Iowa City, to Falcone-controlled HC2 Holdings.

The purchase price is $1.85 million, and may point to the expansion of the Spanish-language Azteca América network to eastern Iowa — an area that has seen much Hispanic population growth in the last two decades.

However, there’s been speculation of late that the network may cease operations, and that Falcone has bigger plans for HC2’s collection of LPTV and full-power holdings.

KWKB was started by the Bae family in 1999, as an affiliate of The WB. For a period it also doubled as a MyTV Network affiliate for the region.

KWKB broadcasts from its own 1,345 foot tower with 1,000 kw of power from a location just outside of West Branch, Iowa.

The Bae family also owns WOCK-CD 4 in Chicago.

Serving as legal counsel in this transaction are Aaron Shainis of Shainis & Peltzman, for the seller, and Trey Hanbury of Hogan Lovells US for the buyer.

The asset purchase agreement notes that a $92,500 escrow deposit has been placed with Shainis’s office.

RBR+TVBR has extensively reported on the rapid growth of HC2 Holdings, self-described as “a publicly traded diversified holding company which seeks opportunities to acquire and grow businesses that can generate long-term sustainable free cash flow and attractive returns in order to maximize value for all stakeholders.”

For an undisclosed price, HC2 in November 2017 agreed to acquire the Azteca América Spanish-language broadcast network from affiliates of Mexico’s TV Azteca.

In addition, HC2 Network signed a definitive acquisition agreement to acquire the broadcast TV assets of Northstar Media LLC. Northstar owns a collection of low-power TV stations that comprise the largest Azteca América affiliate group in the U.S.

HC2 Station Group emerged as an acquisition player in 2017. In October, it acquired 14 LPTVs in a variety of markets from Three Angels Network (3ABN) for $9.6 million.

Then, on Nov. 14, HC2 struck a deal with OTA Broadcasting and acquired KUGB-CD in Houston for $1.5 million; W21CK-D in Charlotte for $500,000; and a group of five Class A stations in the Pittsburgh DMA for $275,000.

A week later, an FCC filing revealed that HC2 is acquiring WTAM-LD 30 in Tampa and WATV-LD 47 in Orlando from Abrahantes Communications LLC for $850,000.