Townsquare Media has just submitted page after page of flow charts to the Federal Communications Commission as it works to explain changes to the complex ownership structure of the radio group’s biggest backer. Brookfield Asset Management has struck a deal to buy 62% of Oaktree Capital, the private equity firm that holds majority control of Townsquare Media. The $4.8 billion deal announced in March would however keep ultimate control of the radio group in the hands of the same three individuals, according to the company’s filing with the FCC.
Under the structure of the merger agreement between Oaktree and Brookfield, the two firms will continue to operate their businesses independently, led by their existing management and investment teams. Howard Marks and Bruce Karsh will remain co-chairmen of Oaktree, with both men continuing to have operating control of Oaktree as an independent entity for the foreseeable future. Marks will also join Brookfield’s board of directors.
Brookfield has largely focused on private equity, real estate, infrastructure and renewable power while Oaktree has focused on distressed debt—a strategy that allowed it to gobble up the former Regent Communications when the radio group fell into bankruptcy in 2010.
The changes at Oaktree Capital aren’t expected to have any immediate impact on its existing portfolio. Oaktree has $120 billion invested in various companies, including a 52% stake in Townsquare Media.
In addition to Townsquare Media, Oaktree previously was an investor in Triton Digital, until it sold its position in 2015. Triton is now owned by the E.W. Scripps Company. Oaktree has also backed other radio companies including Peak Broadcasting, Dial Global, and LBI Media.