Clear Channel Goes Private for $26.7 Bil.

NEW YORK Clear Channel’s board of directors accepted a $26.7 billion offer today from private equity investors Bain Capital Partners and Thomas H. Lee Partners.

The deal will take the massive multimedia company private at $37.60 per share, nearly a 25 percent premium on the stock, based on a 30-trading-days average ending Oct. 24—the day before the San Antonio-based company disclosed it hired investment bank Goldman, Sachs and Co. to evaluate its strategic options.

Clear Channel said the $26.7 billion offer includes the assumption or repayment of approximately $8 billion of net debt.

“We are very pleased to announce this transaction which provides substantial value to our shareholders,” said Clear Channel CEO Mark Mays. “We look forward to working with Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital Partners to continue our business plan to provide exceptional programming to our audiences and value to our advertising partners.”

The merger is subject to the approval of Clear Channel’s shareholders and regulatory authorities. Clear Channel may also consider competing bids through Dec. 7. The company might negotiate with parties submitting competing proposals by that time, until Jan. 5. An unspecified breakup fee would apply, Clear Channel said.

Clear Channel reportedly intends to sell 448 radio stations in selected small markets as well as its television broadcasting division, but the merger is not pending on any of the transactions.

Scott Sperling, co-president of Thomas H. Lee Partners, said, “We are extremely pleased to be partnered with the management team led by Mark and Randall Mays and to have the opportunity to work with them and to grow this company. Clear Channel has tremendous long-term growth opportunities in both the radio and outdoor businesses and we look forward to partnering with Mark and Randall to create value in the years ahead.”