SAN ANTONIO - The deal to take
Delayed and downsized, the $17.9 billion deal for the nation's largest owner of radio stations and a global power in billboards will finally close a week from today if shareholders approve the $36-per-share offer tomorrow.
The deal - in which Boston-based private equity firms Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners would assume about $5.9 billion in existing debt and borrow another $16.4 billion to take Clear Channel private - already has regulatory approval. The lenders have deposited their portion of the funding in an escrow account. No one expects hiccups this time.
"They're prepared to close on the 30th," said Clear Channel spokeswoman Michele Clarke. "Everybody is happy with the revised deal."
When the deal was first revealed in November 2006, credit was easy to get, ever-larger deals were being announced, and some institutional shareholders thought the offer of $37.60 wasn't enough.
They held out twice for more money and a chance to continue owning a portion of the privatized company.
A consortium of six banks agreed to finance the deal initially, but by the time shareholders and regulators had signed off, the lenders had soured on the deal.
But by May 13, the banks, buyers and company settled.