Connoisseur Media has completed a management buyout in which members of the radio company’s executive team will now own almost all of the company. Led by CEO Jeff Warshaw, the company has purchased the stake held by Perot Holdings, which bought a big piece of Connoisseur in July 2015.
The buyout follow a series of strategic moves in which the company recently closed on transactions that added to its Connecticut holdings and also entered the Frederick, MD market.
“Mike Driscoll and I started the company 15 years ago with the purchase of FCC construction permits in an auction,” Warshaw said in a press release late Tuesday afternoon. “It’s gratifying to now be able to work with our major investor, Perot Holdings, to buy their stake in the company.”
In July 2015, Petrus Holding Company, the investment firm run by the family of Ross Perot, Jr., bought a substantial stake in the company from Farallon Capital Management and Balance Point Capital Partners. The investment brought needed capital to fuel growth for the Westport, CT- based broadcaster.
“They’ve been terrific partners to us,” Warshaw added. “We are looking forward to growing our company, and we are excited that members of our senior management team are now owners. Ultimately, many of our employees will become stakeholders.”
Started from scratch with 10 construction permits in 2005, Connoisseur has grown to operate 17 radio stations and digital brands in Frederick, MD; Nassau-Suffolk, NY; Stroudsburg-Wilkes Barre, PA; and Bridgeport, New Haven and Stamford, CT. The company has a strong presence in the “Golden Ring” market surrounding New York City, including Long Island and Connecticut.
“We feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with the best leadership team in the industry and two of the best leaders we have ever partnered with”, Petrus Holding Co. President Steve Blasnik said.