Cash In on Clear Channel's Creaky Deal?

Fools could earn a 14% return in just the next few days -- but the opportunity might not be worth the risk.

The gain would come from Clear Channel (NYSE: CCU  ) , the giant radio station operator that has been trying for many months to complete a deal with private equity firms Thomas H. Lee and Bain Capital LLC. Back in May, the two firms agreed to pay $39.20 a share, or about 13.8% above Monday's closing price of $34.45, for the company's shares.

With this week marking the debt placement deadline for the banks involved in the deal -- the deal's participants seem uncertain about the precise deadline day -- it's possible for Fools to pocket a healthy gain in almost no time flat ... but only if the deal gets done.

It turns out that the banks involved -- including Citigroup (NYSE: C  ) , Deutsche Bank (NYSE: DB  ) , Credit Suisse (NYSE: CS  ) , and Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS  ) -- are located somewhere between the proverbial rock and hard place. They'll apparently lend about $22 billion on the deal, including roughly $18 billion in senior secured debt. If that debt's discounted by the typical 15%, the banks stand to lose about $2.7 billion right up front.

That said, credit now is far tighter and more precious than when the deal was hatched. If the banks decide that instant loss isn't worth it, and pull out of the deal, Lee and Bain would face a $500 million breakup fee. Reckon they might then turn around and file suit against the banking group?

The gap between the current stock price and the deal's agreed-upon buyout price tells you that lots of folks question whether this buyout -- which by now has whiskers -- will ever occur. I'd therefore suggest that you not take the bait here, however tempting the prospect of making a quick buck. Instead, sit back and observe whether this transaction gets even longer in the tooth before it's consummated.

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