Clear Channel got the green light from shareholders to accept a buyout offer that’s been on the table in various forms since late last year.
Analyst John Blackledge of JP Morgan said the sale should close this year, assuming regulatory approval. “Management and the new owners have incentive to close the deal soon, as shareholders are entitled to additional cash compensation if the deal does not close by Dec. 31, 2007,” he said.
Investors approved the $19.5 billion buyout by a private equity group led by Thomas H. Lee Partners LP and Bain Capital Partners LLC. The enhanced deal was at $39.20 per share in cash or stock.
AP reported that the current shareholders could end up with as much as 30 percent of the new company, which was seen as a concession in the bargaining that led up to approval.
According to preliminary figures, about 98 percent were in favor of the buyout, Clear Channel said. The buyers take on $8 billion in debt.
Stanford Group analyst Frederick Moran said the news “points in the direction of a positive completion to the Clear Channel privatization” and said the stock market’s recent bumps as well as the credit crunch may have encouraged shareholders to vote yes.
An analyst with The Motley Fool told AP, “The biggest indicator to me that it was a good buy was that shareholders could have opted for cash or stock, and [many] people still chose to go with stock.”