Report: CC Deal Could Hang On Proxy Service OK
April 27, 2007 at 5:42 AM (PT)
The fate of a $19.5 billion bid to take CLEAR CHANNEL COMMUNICATIONS private may well hang on a decision by influential proxy advisory service ISS, says a REUTERS report. ISS, which advises fund managers and pension funds how to vote on various issues, recommended on MARCH 29 that shareholders oppose THOMAS H. LEE and BAIN CAPITAL's $36.70 a share, or $19 billion bid, tabled in NOVEMBER, arguing that it undervalued the company.
Last week the bidders raised their offer to $39, and ISS has yet to give any revised opinion on whether shareholders should support the new bid or vote against it on MAY 8. "It's definitely important," said JOHN BLACKLEDGE, a senior analyst at JP MORGAN, of the ISS decision. "If they come out and have a favorable opinion of the raised bid it would probably be a boost for the prospects of the deal to go through. But at the same time it is not definite that it would go through."
A spokeswoman for ISS said on THURSDAY the advisory service was evaluating the situation, adding that it would typically aim to release any opinion seven to 10 days before a shareholder meeting. She declined to comment further.
ISS has played an important role in some major votes in past years, such as a 2004 recommendation that WALT DISNEY CO. shareholders withhold their votes for then-Chairman MICHAEL EISNER and its 2002 support for HEWLETT-PACKARD CO.'s merger with COMPAQ.