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Emmis Ends Efforts to Go Private

Says Alden Global Capital wouldn’t finance deal

Emmis Communications has ended its efforts to transition from a public company to a private company — at least for now.

In a statement Thursday, the company said that last month, Emmis and Alden Global Capital had agreed to terms that would allow a group of preferred shareholders who previously did not support the deal to change their mind and support the transaction.

Now, however, Emmis says that after weeks of talks, Alden Global Capital has informed parties that it won’t finance the deal nor support the renegotiated terms with the group of preferred shareholders.

“All parties to the negotiation are stunned and saddened by Alden’s decision to not honor the negotiated deal,” the broadcaster said in a statement.

Emmis, JS Acquisition and President/CEO Jeff Smulyan “will explore various legal remedies related to damages caused by Alden’s actions.”

Emmis said it would continue as a public company and will work with shareholders and employees to increase the value of the company as the radio and city/regional magazine industries continue to see improved operating results.

In May Emmis had announced a merger agreement that would result in it being taken private by JS Acquisition, an entity formed by Smulyan. At that time Emmis had stated, “The financing for the transaction will be provided by an affiliate of Alden Global Capital, a private asset management company … pursuant to a definitive agreement with JS Acquisition.”