Following months of contentious debate, Clear Channel Communications
San Antonio-based Clear Channel owns more than 1,100 radio stations, 448 of which it's currently trying to sell; it's also in the process of selling off 56 TV stations to Providence Equity Partners. Last November, the company announced a $37.60-per-share offer from two private equity firms, Thomas Lee Partners and Bain Capital Partners. Two of the company's major institutional investors, Fidelity and Highfields Capital Management, quickly complained that the offer was insufficient, prompting the bidders to increase their offer to $39 a share.
When that offer also failed to win shareholders' approval, it rose once more, to $39.20 a share, with a clause allowing shareholders to choose between receiving the cash or retaining their shares in the surviving company. It now seems that Fidelity and Highfields support this version; since the firms own about 15% of the company between them, that should swing the balance in favor of the buyout.
Amid all these machinations, Clear Channel reported solid quarterly results -- at least for a traditional media company. Its revenues increased 8% to $1.61 billion, including foreign currency translations, and its net income reached $102.2 million, or $0.21 a share, compared to $96.8 million, or $0.19 a share, last year.
With the vote looming, I'd suggest that Fools avoid any sort of financial involvement in Clear Channel Communications, which closed at $37.90 per share on Wednesday. There are better ways to seek profits in media today.
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