(CMR) Hurley's Media is being sold to the Compass subject to regulatory approval from OfReg exclusive sources have shared with Cayman Marl Road. The acquisition includes Hurley’s Media’s four radio stations, Z99, Rooster FM, Irie FM and Bob FM.
Acting upon a tip received last week, we started to make some preliminary inquires about the matter. However, at the time the information amounted to mere rumors. However, today we can further confirm that a formal application has been made to the government's regulatory agency, OfReg who would have to approve the pending sale.
Initial tipsters revealed that some Caymanian businessmen including the owner of the Compass, James Bergstrom and Marcus Cumber and others have joined together to take over the media house. An official announcement is said to be pending.
Speculation is that that the Dart organization will be financing the deal and that it was “rolled over from the previous ownership.”
If true, this would not be the first time that Dart has financed Hurley's Media via Dart Finance Ltd. Back in the summer of 2015 the islands’ biggest developer financed the purchase of CITN's Cayman 27 by Hurley’s Entertainment owner, Randy Merren. At the time this was said to not be an investment in the TV station but instead a multi-million dollar loan. This loan also facilitated the move of Cayman 27 and Hurley's Media into Dart owned Camana Bay.
On the other hand, many recognize that Bergstrom a local partner has a reputation for being financially solid and could fund the purchase himself if he wished.
Merren decided to shut down the island's only television station last year in part because of unpaid regulatory fees.
Questions have now arisen about how OfReg will deal with the matter of outstanding fees in the event of a sale.
For their part, the Compass has admitted in recent times that they were facing financial difficulties that have lead to staff layoffs and pay to read paywall options for their print media.
Hurley's Media currently has 22 employees.
NOTE: Responding to a CMR query today the Compass has confirmed that their parent company will be acquiring part of Hurley's Media subject to regulatory approval.
They shared that Hurley’s Media was formed in 2015 and originally included Z99 and Rooster FM, in addition to now-defunct television station Cayman 27, before acquiring and rebranding two other radio stations, Vibe 98.9 FM and Spin 94.9 FM.