Bluepoint eyes US expansion

The Oakville, Ontario-based holding company has announced it is in the process of pursuing a US-based media co, while continuing on its quest to build an independent network of local TV stations in Canada.

Bluepoint Investment is crossing borders.

The Oakville, Ontario holding company, led by former Aegis Media Canada chairman Bruce Claassen, has announced that its broadcast-media acquisition strategy is now expanding into the US.

In a release today, the company revealed that it is currently engaged in due diligence with one unidentified US company. The decision to broaden its scope to the US market was really one of opportunity, Claassen told MiC in an interview earlier today, adding that the company didn’t necessarily plan to go stateside this early in its strategy, but that an opportunity ‘dropped in our laps.’

The goal is to become a player in the North American television industry, he says, and expanding stateside is a step toward that goal.

‘We want to be TV broadcasters,’ he explains. ‘We’re not searching for US assets so that we can add them to Canadian assets and represent some sort of special unique buy. We want to take advantage of the local market opportunities in OTAs and whether that exists in Canada or the US, we really don’t care.

‘We’re going to put together the kind of marketing and sales packages for the collection of stations that we have in Canada that are going to make sense for Canadian advertisers,’ he explains of the company’s future sales strategy. ‘What we have in the US will obviously make sense for US advertisers. There might be some situations in which they coalesce but generally speaking they are different strategies.’

Bluepoint’s first foray into the Canadian television marketplace was a disappointment for the company. It set out to purchase the Brandon, Manitoba-based TV station CKX-TV, but the deal fell apart at the last minute due to issues surrounding direct-to-home satellite access.

However, the company now has two substantial bids on the table for as-yet undisclosed Canadian media assets, Claassen says, and is in active pursuit of both. The company now has ‘substantive financial investment’ from both Bay Street and Wall Street and he’s confident that there is viability in the local television market and that his team has the assets to not only secure new media properties, but to run them successfully.

‘It takes the prowess of a cat to be able to make sure that you can run these things properly,’ he says. ‘I think we have a team that knows how to do that. And I think that as you add to the list of local stations that you have in your mix, the opportunities for economies of scale obviously escalate and your ability to run them collectively in a much more efficient, much more profitable, successful basis, is there.’