Emmis Faces Delisting As It Closes On Merlin Deal
September 2, 2011 at 4:01 AM (PT)
EMMIS COMMUNICATIONS CORP. has been served with notice from NASDAQ that it faces delisting due to its Class A Common Stock closing below the $1/share threshold for 30 consecutive business days starting JULY 19th.
The company has until FEBRUARY 27th to regain compliance by getting its stock price over $1/share for at least 10 consecutive business days. EMMIS got the notice the day before closing on the sale of News WEMP (FM NEWS 101.9, formerly Alternative WRXP)/NEW YORK and News WWWN (FM NEWS 101.1, formerly Alternative WKQX (Q101)) and Classic Rock WLUP/CHICAGO to MERLIN MEDIA, netting it $120 million and retaining $28.7 million of equity in MERLIN. EMMIS transferred the stations to MERLIN and sold the controlling interest to RANDY MICHAELS and private equity firm GTCR.
"The notice from NASDAQ was not a surprise, but the timing is ironic coming the very day before we closed the MERLIN transaction and repaid approximately $120 million of our debt. We are optimistic that the performance of our businesses and our continued efforts to rationalize our balance sheet will enable us to achieve compliance with the Minimum Bid Price Rule before FEBRUARY 27th, 2012," said Chairman/CEO JEFF SMULYAN.
On the MERLIN closing, SMULYAN said, "While it is difficult to part with these stations, we are pleased to remain involved as an investor in MERLIN MEDIA. The proceeds of the sale allow us to significantly deleverage the company and evaluate a variety of exciting opportunities for the next era of growth at EMMIS."