Clear Channel goes private as delayed deal closes - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Clear Channel goes private as delayed deal closes

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - The long-delayed deal to take radio and billboard company Clear Channel Communications Inc. private closed Wednesday.

Bain Capital Partners and Thomas H. Lee Partners bought the nation's largest radio station operator for $17.9 billion, paying investors $36 per share. The equity firms assumed another $5.9 billion in debt.

The deal keeps Chief Executive Mark Mays, the son of one of the company's founders, along with some other members of the management team in place.

The buyout was initially announced in November 2006 but was delayed by investors who wanted more money and a chance to continue owning a portion of the company. By the time they were satisfied, the credit market seized up and lenders were reluctant to fund the deal.

After a series of lawsuits between the company, buyers and banks, the price of the deal was renegotiated down from $39.20 per share to Wednesday's sale price. Shareholders approved the new deal last week.

San Antonio-based Clear Channel owns about 900 stations and has about 1 million billboards and other outdoor signs worldwide.

About 10 percent of the outdoor unit trades as a separate stock and will continue to do so, even with the deal closed. Shares of Clear Channel Communications, however, will not be listed on the New York Stock Exchange after Wednesday.

Powered by Frankly