Clear Channel Shareholders Approve Sale
September 25, 2007 at 8:00 AM (PT)
CLEAR CHANNEL COMMUNICATIONS INC. shareholders have approved a $19.5 billion buyout of the radio giant, more than 10 months after the deal was proposed, the company announced TODAY.
The offer from a private equity group led by THOMAS H. LEE PARTNERS LP and BAIN CAPITAL PARTNERS LLC was first announced in NOVEMBER, but was sweetened several times after some large shareholders signaled they would oppose earlier offers.
The latest offer was $39.20 per share in cash or stock. Current shareholders could end up with as much as 30% of the new, privately held company.
'It appears that all the stars have aligned ... the credit crunch and the shaky stock market environment over the summer causes more comfort on behalf of shareholders to approve the deal.
Of the shares voted, about 98% were in favor of the buyout of the SAN ANTONIO-based company, CLEAR CHANNEL said.
Two-thirds of shareholders were needed to approve the buyout, and previous offers of $37.60 and $39 per share were deemed too low by some and weren't expected to pass.
"We are pleased with the outcome of today's vote," CLEAR CHANNEL CEO MARK MAYS stated. "On behalf of CLEAR CHANNEL's Board of Directors, I want to thank our shareholders and hard-working employees for their support throughout this process. We look forward to completing this transaction with T.H. LEE and BAIN as quickly as possible."
"It appears that all the stars have aligned," STANFORD GROUP analyst FREDERICK MORAN said before the vote. "We also think that the credit crunch and the shaky stock market environment over the summer causes more comfort on behalf of shareholders to approve the deal."
The offer to allow shareholders to keep part of the newly private company is an unusual concession because private equity buyers pay a premium to get total control and fewer regulatory requirements than those required of public companies.
The deal is expected to close before the end of the year.