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Braintree-based radio station operator sold in $240M deal

The days of private ownership will end soon for Greater Media Inc. now that the Braintree-based radio station operator has agreed to be sold to a Florida chain.

In a press release Tuesday, Beasley Broadcast Group said it plans to buy Greater Media, which is controlled by the Bordes family, in a deal valued at about $240 million.

In Boston, Greater Media owns five FM stations: WROR 105.7, a classic rock station; WKLB 102.5, a country station; WBQT 96.9, hip hop and modern R&B; WMJX 106.7, adult contemporary music, including soft rock; and WBOS 92.9, modern rock. Beasley, meanwhile, has just one local station: WRCA 1330, an AM station that airs ethnic and religious programming.

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Greater Media shareholders would get $100 million in cash and $25 million in Beasley stock, as well as the net proceeds from the sale of Greater Media’s tower assets, estimated to be $20 million in cash. Beasley will also refinance about $80 million of Greater Media’s debt.

Greater Media has 21 radio stations, in comparison to Beasley’s 52. But many of Greater Media’s stations are in major media markets, such as Boston and Philadelphia, so the deal would more than double Beasley’s annual revenue. The company said its net revenue would have increased in 2015 from $106 million to $247 million if it had owned Greater Media’s stations.

Greater Media also owns stations in the Detroit, New Jersey, and Charlotte, N.C., markets. Beasley said it plans to divest some of its radio stations in Charlotte to obtain Federal Communications Commission approval of the deal.

It was unclear Tuesday what the deal would mean for Greater Media’s 800-person work force, including 197 people at Greater Media’s Dorchester studios and 14 at its Braintree headquarters. Greater Media chief executive Peter Smyth sounded a hopeful tone about his employees’ future in the press release: “I am thankful for their hard work and dedication and am confident they will continue to make many valuable contributions as part of a larger organization.”

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At the time of the deal’s closing, expected by the end of the year, Greater Media shareholders would hold 19 percent of Beasley’s outstanding shares and would get to appoint one board member, expanding Beasley’s board to nine.

Greater Media has been independent since its founding in 1956, when Yale classmates Joseph Rosenmiller and Peter Bordes bought a small AM radio station in Southbridge. Rosenmiller sold his stake in the business in 1994.


Jon Chesto can be reached at jon.chesto@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jonchesto.