Since April 2000, we have provided business owners with the highest levels of independent transaction advisory services. Our expertise includes media and communications transactions in these areas:
Sales of EBS licenses
We assist colleges, universities, PBS groups and regional school boards with sourcing sales and long-term leases of their EBS spectrum.
In 1963, the FCC allocated 2,193 licenses in the 2.5 GHz band for school districts to use in creating instructional television. This later became the Educational Broadband Service or "EBS" band. Unfortunately, Washington did not provide the funds to buy the equipment necessary to implement this vision (nor was it clear that children could learn effectively by watching a teacher on a small television screen). Consequently, for 40 years, EBS licenses remained unused.
Notably, EBS frequencies occupy the "sweet spot" of midband spectrum: EBS wavelengths permit optimal signal propagation and high data capacity. In the late 1990s, through long-term leases, wireless providers gradually gained control over virtually all of the 2,193 licenses. Today, only about 80 licenses (4%) remain under independent control.
Effective April 27, 2020, EBS licenses were "re-zoned" for commercial use. It is now possible for licensees to negotiate a sale or long-term lease for a best and highest price. The regulatory change also provides for a 2021 forward auction of "overlay licenses" on the same frequencies, but subject to, the legacy EBS licenses. This creates a strong incentive for wireless carriers (principally T-Mobile US, Inc.) to pay a premium to acquire the last EBS holdouts, in order to create a contiguous nationwide inventory of spectrum as the backbone for its 5G service.
Contiguity of spectrum is critical: owning adjacent spectrum blocks enables a wireless provider to create a 100 MHz-wide carrier, the maximum available under 5G. Sellers that can enable a purchaser to create this 100 MHz carrier are thus in a position to extract a premium.
We apply twenty years of domain expertise to setting an asking price for an EBS license, incorporating:
- valid, relevant and defensible market comparables;
- the true size of the EBS license;
- an accurate measure of current covered population (which can include seasonal and student populations); and
- a potential purchaser's nearby and adjacent spectrum holdings.
By utilizing these specific metrics, we negotiate the best and highest prices for university boards and school districts that are considering options for their spectrum.
Please feel free to request our October 2019 white paper "Opportunities for EBS License Holders".
UHF and VHF spectrum transactions
We have assisted dozens of television station owners with strategic transactions for their 600 MHz television spectrum. Engagements have included:
- Negotiating numerous long-term channel-share agreements at high values for our clients.
- Arranging the donation of nine low-power television stations to a major not-for-profit broadcaster.
- Providing strategic advisory services relating to FCC incentive auctions.
- Implementing a Single Frequency Network to expand network coverage and permit the disposition of a full-service station.
- Securing over-the-air sub-channel carriage in key markets for use by a national network.
- Sourcing replacement UHF spectrum for a broadcaster that moved to the low-VHF band.
Television station sales
Since 2007, our television station sale practice has advised more than twenty sales of television stations in all categories:
- We have advised commercial broadcasters and non-commercial educational broadcasters.
- We have advised the successful and high-value sales of full-service, Class A, and non-Class A low-power stations.
- Our clients have held both VHF and UHF assets.
- We have advised the successful sale of network affiliates and unaffiliated, independent stations. We have advised the highest "stick value" transactions in recent memory.
- We have provided fairness options and strategic assessments.
We mainly work for sellers, but have performed strategic assessments for purchasers seeking coverage or spectrum in key areas. We have a strong and positive working relationship with C-level decision-makers at all broadcasting groups.
Business-to-business media and information
Throughout our firm's 20-year history, we have advised the successful sale of numerous companies in consumer and business-to-business media. These have included:
- business-to-business information companies;
- seminars, conferences, trade shows and exhibitions;
- regional and community publishing and media;
- educational conferences and online education;
- business information and business newsletters; and
- online media and marketing.
Workouts and restructurings
We have applied our transaction expertise, innovation, and creativity to assisting investors in disengaging from joint ventures or troubled investments. We apply a highly professional and results-oriented approach to achieve tangible and satisfactory results ahead of expectations.
Our domain expertise is to draw upon superior knowledge and research in our industries and apply a patient and professional approach, in order to achieve mission-critical results for clients.
We are known throughout the communications industries for our core strengths:
- We deliver the highest quality in independent investment banking services.
- Each engagement we accept is an important priority for our firm.
- We understand the importance sellers place on confidentiality and discretion.
- We are dedicated to achieving excellence in everything we do.
Special Note: M.C. Alcamo & Co., Inc. is not a “broker-dealer” and will not recommend the purchase or sale of securities. In our investment banking practice, we are pleased to advise clients in connection with the sale of certain or all of the assets of a business (or, if the parties agree, all of the equity capital of a business). These conditions apply to sell-side advisory assignments: (1) Our firm has a specified role in the negotiations between the seller and potential purchasers (or their representatives) as described in our engagement letter; and, our firm will not have the power to bind either party in the transaction; (2) all clients represented by M.C. Alcamo & Co., Inc. must be a “going concern” and not a “shell organization”; (3) a selling company must have 500 or fewer full-time employees (fewer than 1000 employees for certain industries, all as specified in the small business size regulations issued by the U.S. SBA); (4) only assets will be marketed or otherwise offered for sale; (5) if the transaction is effected by means of securities, it will be a conveyance of all of the business’s equity securities to a single purchaser or group of purchasers formed without the assistance of our firm; (6) our firm will not recommend the purchase or sale of any security, will not advise the parties whether to issue securities, or otherwise to effect the transfer of the business by means of securities, or assess the value of any securities sold (other than by valuing the assets of the business as a going concern); (7) our firm’s compensation will be determined prior to the decision on how to effect the sale of the business, i.e., it is based upon the transaction value received by the seller, regardless of the means used to effect the transaction and will not vary according to the form of conveyance (i.e., securities rather than assets); (8) our fees are to be received in the amounts and at the times as described in an engagement letter; and (9) our firm will not assist purchasers with obtaining financing.