- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 16, 2006

1:39 p.m.

SAN ANTONIO — Clear Channel Communications Inc., the nation’s biggest radio station owner, said today it has agreed to be acquired for about $18.7 billion by an investment group.

The transaction would be one of the biggest deals in which a company has been taken private, and it showcases the vast sums that buyout groups have been able to assemble to acquire public companies.

An investor group led by Thomas H. Lee Partners LP and Bain Capital Partners LLC is paying $37.60 in cash for each share of Clear Channel, a 10.2 percent premium over yesterday’s closing price. The buyers also are assuming about $8 billion in debt.

Clear Channel’s shares jumped $1.38, or 4 percent, to $35.50 in very heavy trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Clear Channel said in a regulatory filing that it doesn’t expect any senior management changes or significant layoffs. Mark Mays will remain chief executive, while Randall Mays, his brother, will stay on as chief financial officer. Their father, Lowry Mays, the chairman, will continue to have an active role, the company said. The Mays family owns about 7 percent of the company.

Clear Channel also said it plans to sell 448 of its radio stations, all located outside the top 100 markets, as well as its 42-station television group, which also are located in smaller markets. Collectively, the properties made up less than 10 percent of the company’s revenues last year.

The company has until Dec. 7 to solicit competing proposals. Another bid for Clear Channel had been expected from Providence Equity Partners, the Blackstone Group and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

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