The Outdoor Channel is no longer digging for gold.
The Temecula, Calif.-based network said Wednesday that it sold its two gold-prospecting businesses -- the Gold Prospectors Association of America and the Lost Dutchman’s Mining Association -- to company vice chairman Thomas Massie for $3.6 million.
According to a press release, the purchase price represents the net book value of the assets, including about $2.4 million of cash on hand.
As part of the deal, TOC modified its programming agreement with the GPAA and the LDMA, reducing the length of an agreement to sell airtime to the two entities to two years. Its previous deal with the two organizations, struck in 1998, was automatically renewable until 2012.
“This transaction enables the company to focus all efforts and resources entirely on our core operations at Outdoor Channel and, we believe, is in the best interest of shareholders,” Outdoor Channel CEO Roger Werner said in a prepared statement.
“We are pleased that Tom Massie will be able to maintain the long heritage of the Massie family with GPAA and LDMA,” he added. “Both of these organizations will always remain, in spirit, a part of our company, and we wish Tom and the employees the greatest success in their future.”
The GPAA and the LDMA were formed by Massie’s late father, George Massie, in 1968 and 1976, respectively. TOC was created in 1993 primarily to promote George Massie’s prospecting business.
The LDMA owns several parcels of land in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Oregon and South Carolina, which are used by members to search for small gold deposits and other treasures, as well as for hunting and fishing expeditions for an additional fee.
According to TOC’s 10-K annual report filed March 30, the LDMA charges a membership fee of $3,500-$3,700 and a $120 annual maintenance fee.
The GPAA -- which also publishes Gold Prospector’s & Treasure Hunters in the Great Outdoors magazine -- charges its members a $79 initial membership fee and annual renewal fees of $24-$54. Membership fees generated revenue of $5.16 million in 2006.
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