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No Luck for Smulyan on Emmis Bid

He lets his offer to take the company private expire

Jeff Smulyan has ended his latest attempt to take Emmis Communications private, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal.

“After the markets closed on Friday, his latest deadline to come to terms with the board, Smulyan announced he was dropping the buyout plan and would keep Emmis publicly traded,” the publication reported, noting that Smulyan has now tried three times over a decade to take the media company private, running up against investor resistance.

Smulyan, CEO of the company, also is a minority investor. He had extended this offer multiple times but he told the Securities & Exchange Commission Friday that the proposal has now expired.

While negotiations have been going on behind the scenes, Emmis also has been making moves to reduce and reconfigure its debt, including the sale of some stations and a magazine. According to the Indianapolis Business Journal, Smulyan has said Emmis must reduce leverage whether or not it remained a public company.

He left open the possibility of another attempt. In his Friday filing with the SEC as president of E Acqusition Corp., Smulyan writes that he “may, from time to time, commence discussions with directors of the Issuer regarding a potential offer with terms similar to or different than those of the proposal described herein…” but added that he “currently has no intention of selling any shares of the Issuer’s common stock.”