Clear Channel Communications Inc., the nations largest radio, billboard, and entertainment outlet, announced their intention this morning to sell the company to a consortium of private-equity firms for over $26 billion. In addition, Clear Channel's TV division, as well as its smallest 448 radio stations would be sold out of the company and will be looking for potential buyers.
I had heard rumors that Clear Channel was in some financial trouble and was looking to trim down. It should be interesting to see what happens to these radio stations - are the affiliates of a "Clear Channel" network, what happens to the syndicated programming (I imagine that's might be handled on a contract by contract basis).
Although, this mostly seems to be a "benefit the stock holder" move more than anything else.
"Oh my God! They have a shit-load of Cockapoo stuff!" -Jennifer's greatest quote... ever.
Originally posted by LeroyAlthough, this mostly seems to be a "benefit the stock holder" move more than anything else.
Actually, it's a "benefit the Mays family" more than anything else, in spite of the company's poor performance for the past several years under their management. Not only do they cash out their current stock shares, they get options to purchase new equity positions. Additionally, their contracts with Clear Channel had provisions that would pay them 7 years salary and benefits (in a lump sum!) in the event the company was bought out, even while keeping their jobs. The WSJ did report that the family agreed to reduce that payout somewhat, but didn't disclose how much. Either way, it stinks.
I haven't been able to find this information in a free source, but it's something the WSJ has been covering for a few weeks. This whole process has been completely incestous and I'd be pissed if I owned Clear Channel stock or worked for them. The other frustrating thing is that it seems the WSJ is the only major publication truly following the story. Their "independent" directors have all been affiliated with the company or the family since the 1970s. Moreover, Clear Channel has been one of the poster children for overpaid top execs. Also, following the transaction, the company's debt has been cut to a junk rating.
Still, if this deal works out it won't be because of the radio stations; it will be the outdoor advertising business.
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