Ponying up more for Clear Channel

Lisa Napoli Apr 18, 2007
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Ponying up more for Clear Channel

Lisa Napoli Apr 18, 2007
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TESS VIGELAND: Corporate negotiations are often like a game of chicken. “I’ll give you this much for your company. Can’t give you more, I swear!””Sorry — gotta pony up.””But, but . . . oh, OK.Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners said for months that $37.60 a share was the best they could do to buy Clear Channel Communications.Shareholders in the media giant were set to vote on the deal tomorrow.Today, like magic, the private equity giants said OK, $39 a share.Lisa Napoli looks at whether a buck forty will cinch the deal.


LISA NAPOLI: Clear Channel shareholders haven’t been thrilled with the bid that was already on the table. High-stakes institutional investors like Fidelity Investments and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System have thumbed their noses at the deal.

Now, with this new 11th-hour offer, Clear Channel’s stalling for time. The vote’s been delayed until May 8.

Analyst David Joyce of Miller Tabak

says that’s a sign the sweetened deal may not be sweet enough.

DAVID JOYCE: The company giving itself another couple of weeks til the official votes, to try to get investors to perhaps change their votes positively to accept the deal, is still going to require a lot of marketing on their part.

Some Clear Channel investors have said they’d like to command $40 bucks a share.

But Analyst Carmi Levy says just because you think you’re worth more, doesn’t mean you’ll get it.

CARMI LEVY: Truth of the matter is, are they going to get that price from anyone else? Short answer is no. So, if you’re an investor you kind of have to look at offers that you have, versus offers that you want.

By most outsiders’ math, a deal worth $19 billion isn’t something to sniff at.

Whatever price Clear Channel commands, it’s clear who’ll get rich. The family dynasty behind Clear Channel stands to make a bundle in taking the company private — plus they’ll get to keep their jobs, too.

In Los Angeles, I’m Lisa Napoli for Marketplace.

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