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Report: Citadel in Negotiations With Cumulus

Debt said to be a concern

Two accounts report that Citadel Broadcasting is in negotiations to sell itself to Cumulus Media.

CNBC is credited with breaking the story Thursday; it and the The Dealbook at the New York Times reported that Citadel Broadcasting is in negotiations to sell. The talks reportedly began this week.

Under the terms of the deal being discussed, Cumulus would pay $30 a share in cash and $7 in stock for each Citadel share, or about $2.5 billion. Talks are ongoing and may still fall apart, one source told The Dealbook, which reports one concern of Citadel’s management is that a deal would require a significant amount of debt.

Last November, Cumulus made an offer of around $31 a share for Citadel, which ultimately was rejected by the company. Since then, Citadel has been pursuing a potential sale and wound up with Cumulus and Entercom Communications bidding against each other.

Based in Las Vegas, Citadel operates 165 FMs and 58 AMs in 50 markets. Cumulus Media, which is based in Atlanta, says it’s the second largest radio company based on station count. It controls approximately 350 radio stations in 68 markets.