Westwood One For Sale?
May 4, 2007 at 1:07 PM (PT)
THE NEW YORK POST reports WESTWOOD ONE has tapped investment bank UBS to identify potential buyers in anticipation of putting itself on the block next month. According to three sources close to the situation, WESTWOOD ONE is waiting for shareholder approval for its pending content syndication deal with CBS RADIO, tentatively targeted for MAY 15, before it formalizes an auction.
CBS RADIO manages and owns an 18% stake in WESTWOOD ONE. In APRIL, WESTWOOD ONE and CBS RADIO signed a letter of intent to extend their syndication deal, previously set to expire in 2009, until MARCH 2017. Final approval of that deal is key to WESTWOOD ONE's sale process since it shores up the company's balance sheet and "puts it in a much better position to be sold," said one source.
According to sources, UBS has already contacted CITADEL BROADCASTING about its interest in buying WESTWOOD ONE. Sources said SHANE COPPOLA is also interested in buying the network. COPPOLA currently consults for WESTWOOD ONE, and his father in law, DAVID SAPERSTEIN, is a former owner of METRO TRAFFIC and eventually sold it to WESTWOOD ONE when former CBS RADIO CEO JOEL HOLLANDER was overseeing the network.
New TRIBUNE CO. owner SAM ZELL, who holds just under 5% of WESTWOOD ONE, has also kicked the network's tires. For WESTWOOD ONE a sale would give management autonomy from CBS while keeping its content.