Keeping the door open


Clear Channel Communications has once again extended its bond tender offers, which can close if and when the going private buyout closes. The latest extension is for a full week, moving the tender expiration from Friday, April 11th to Friday, April 18th.

Much will be happening in the interim, mostly in courtrooms. A judge in Texas is to hold a hearing this Friday, April 11th, on whether to turn his temporary restraining order against the six banks who have so far not delivered the funding for the buyout into a permanent injunction, essentially ordering the banks to deliver the 22 billion-plus in financing. On Tuesday, April 15th, a judge in New York is expected to rule on Clear Channel’s effort to block an attempt by the banks to add it as a defendant in the Empire State, where the banks are also seeking a ruling that their liability, if there is any, is no more than 600 million bucks. Clear Channel will be fighting to keep the legal battle in Texas, where it is seeking more than 26 billion in damages from the banks.

RBR/TVBR observation: We can’t help but notice that the institutions listed time after time by Clear Channel as managers for the bond tenders are three of the six institutions it is fighting with in court. “Clear Channel has retained Citi to act as the lead dealer manager for the tender offers and lead solicitation agent for the consent solicitations and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated to act as co-dealer managers for the tender offers and co-solicitation agents for the consent solicitations.” The three would receive some fees if the bond tenders close, but not nearly enough to cover the write-down they’ll have to take if they make the loans for Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital to take Clear Channel private.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Citi is selling off at a discount about $12 billion of the $43 billion in leveraged loans it had been holding since the credit markets dried up. No doubt the banking giant would prefer not to take on another four billion plus from its share of the Clear Channel funding.