Dissident shareholder Geoffrey Raynor is stepping up his assault on Citadel Broadcasting’s board of directors to force them to negotiate a takeover by Cumulus Media. Now he’s enlisted the New York Times to pressure the board and CEO Farid Suleman.
The article published Sunday recounts the rejection out of hand of the $31 per share (cash and stock) offer by Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey.
And it also retells the story of how Suleman and other top managers and directors were awarded nearly $100 million in restricted stock, until Raynor and other shareholders asked a US Bankruptcy Court to void the grants as violating the terms of Citadel’s plan that brought it out of Chapter 11 reorganization. The stock grants were voluntarily rescinded and replaced by options.
More recently, the story says, more than a dozen shareholders have written to board Chair Jack Sander demanding that the board open talks with Cumulus.
Raynor’s R2 Investments had led the charge, but is now being joined by other former creditors now holding Citadel stock who claim that the board is looking out for its own interests rather than those of the company’s shareholders.
RBR-TVBR Note: What would a merged Cumulus-Citadel look like? See our exclusive analysis: RBR-TVBR recently crunched the numbers
RBR-TVBR observation: Look for this dispute to heat up, not cool down. The vulture capital firms who bought Citadel’s debt on the cheap as it headed into Chapter 11 want profits sooner, not later.