Marathon Asset Management has made a filing with the SEC that funds it manages have acquired slightly over 2.8 million shares of CC Media Holdings, the new parent company of Clear Channel Communications. Marathon, which describes itself as having a “contrarian” investment philosophy, did not disclose when it acquired the shares, which amount to 11.87% of the publicly traded Class A shares of CC Media Holdings. The overwhelming majority of CC Media’s equity and voting power are in the Class B shares, all owned by Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital.
RBR/TVBR observation: Marathon would have had to have gotten at least part of its stake by converting shares of the previous public stock of Clear Channel Communications, since the thin trading volume for CC Media Holdings has not yet totaled 2.8 million. That is indeed a contrarian investment view, since the new shares have not traded even close to the $36 per share that was available in cash when the buyout closed. The volatility in trading thus far for the new stock, which is not listed on any exchange, has been stunning. It started out around $18 and has now dropped as low as $7.65. As we noted, though, trading volume has been miniscule. The folks who believe in the value of this company, and the radio business in general, are holding the shares for the long-haul.