Someone approached Citadel Broadcasting last month with a merger proposal. Beyond that, little is known, since the board of directors at Citadel said “no thanks.”
Here is the brief statement that Citadel filed with the SEC on Monday (12/6):
“In early November 2010, Citadel Broadcasting Corporation (the “Company”) received an unsolicited letter from a third party proposing a merger transaction with the Company. This proposal was rejected by the Company’s board of directors after it determined that the proposal was not in the best interests of the Company’s shareholders. On November 29, 2010, the Company received a second unsolicited letter from this third party that improved the terms of its prior proposal, and after consultation with its financial and legal advisors, the board of directors of the Company also rejected this proposal as not being in the best interests of the Company’s shareholders.”
UPDATE: The New York Times reports that it was indeed Cumulus Media which made the November offers for Citadel.
RBR-TVBR observation: It was pretty easy to guess that Lew Dickey was the most likely bidder. He is still trying to buy large market properties with Cumulus Radio Investors (CRI), which Cumulus Media created last April with Crestview Partners, headed by Jeff Marcus. No one has officially confirmed it, but the New York Times Dealbook blog reported that Cumulus was the spurned suitor, and that makes a lot of sense.
The officialo reaction we got from Lew Dickey? “We don’t comment on speculation.”
Will anyone else try to persuade Citadel to sell itself? Don’t forget that Entercom was the other bidder which lost ABC Radio to Citadel, so David Field is quite familiar with Citadel’s large-market properties.