Is this the week for a private CCU?


Things are moving fast for Clear Channel Communications. The long-pending sale of Clear Channel Television to Newport Television for 1.1 billion closed on Friday as Newport’s backer, Providence Equity Partners, apparently settled its legal disputes with Wachovia over financing of the deal.

For the second time in recent days, Clear Channel Communications has re-set the closing date for its bond tender. This time the date moved two days, to Thursday, March 20. There have been rumblings from Wall Street recently that closing on the entire 26.7 billion bucks cash and debt deal by Thomas H. Lee Partners, Bain Capital and Mays Family to take Clear Channel private could come the day after the bond tender closes, which could be this Friday, March 21st, if all of the lending is in place and all of the stars are in alignment. That’s by no means certain, but there could be an end in sight for this long, long, long-pending buyout deal. Clear Channel and its private equity owners-to-be have said only that they expect to get the deal to closing this month.

RBR/TVBR observation: Closing the TV sale was not a pre-condition for closing the overall Clear Channel buyout, but cash from that sale will help to pay down the heavy debt load being taken on in the deal to take Clear Channel private. It looks more and more like this buyout is actually going to get to the closing table. Watch for Clear Channel’s stock price to keep edging closer to the $39.20 buyout price as the likely closing draws nearer.