Highfields Boosts Clear Channel Stake To 7.7%
January 31, 2008 at 8:47 AM (PT)
In what may be seen as a vote of confidence in the buyout of CLEAR CHANNEL COMMUNICATIONS, a major company stockholder with a unique position in the deal has bought company shares in recent days, reports CNN MONEY.
HIGHFIELDS CAPITAL MANAGEMENT LP disclosed THURSDAY it bought 4.4 million shares in recent days for about $132 million. HIGHFIELDS now owns about 38.1 million shares of CLEAR CHANNEL, or about 7.7% of the company's outstanding shares, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
HIGHFIELDS has a privileged position in the CLEAR CHANNEL deal that may give added weight to its stock buying. The BOSTON investment firm helped rescue the sale last year when it appeared dead, and is slated to continue as an investor following a completed deal.
HIGHFIELDS helped arrange a sweetened $19.5 billion agreement last year, with terms that give existing CLEAR CHANNEL investors an option to own a minority interest in the company following a sale to private equity firms THOMAS H. LEE PARTNERS and BAIN CAPITAL LLC. HIGHFIELDS is assured a CLEAR CHANNEL board seat after the deal closes.
It's unclear whether HIGHFIELDS increased its CLEAR CHANNEL holdings because the firm is confident the deal will go through or because it saw little downside in buying shares at current prices. CLEAR CHANNEL shares ended trading WEDNESDAY at $29.16, more than $10 off the buyout price of $39.20 a share.