Clear Channel clears hurdle


The buyout of radio giant Clear Channel needed approval of 66.7% of its shareholders to go to Bain Capital Partners and Thomas H. Lee Partners, a hurdle it cleared with room to spare. Votes representing 73% of eligible shares gave thumbs up to collect 39.20 per share from the private equity firms. According to the Associated Press, 98% of shares actually voted went into the yes column. The original offer was 37.60 per share, a bid long ago sweetened. The final piece of the puzzle was the offer of so-called "stub equity," allowing some shareholders to retain an ongoing stake in the company. Next up in the process are approvals from the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice, and then closing. The rough target date for closure is December.

Mark May said, "We are pleased with the outcome of today’s vote. We look forward to completing this transaction with T.H. Lee and Bain as quickly as possible."

Clear Channel sold off its television group to a subsidiary of Providence Equity Partners Inc. last May for 1.255B. It is currently in the midst of a rather bumpy process of selling off smaller market radio stations, and with the approval to go ahead with this merger, will also be forced to market grandfathered stations in larger markets as well. A large number of potential spin-offs were placed in Aloha Station Trust under the care and feeding of Jeanette Tully last June. AP says the group will have about 675 mostly large-market stations and its billboard business going forward.