Bids prepped for Clear Channel

Private-equity groups eyeing a takeover of company

At least two consortia of private-equity groups were scheduled to make offers Monday for Clear Channel Communications, owner of about 1,150 radio stations, according to people familiar with the process.

Clear Channel said last month that it hired Goldman Sachs & Co. to help it explore strategic alternatives for its business, and observers said that a sale of the entire company is likely.

The company's stock, which traded north of $50 a share five years ago, closed 1.7% lower Monday to $34.38, giving Clear Channel a market capitalization of a little less than $17 billion. Clear Channel shares have already advanced about 20% during the past few months as rumors swirled that it was being groomed for a sale.

Many analysts have speculated that the company, which also owns a majority of Clear Channel Outdoor, would fetch as little as $34 per share and as much $42.

Clear Channel Outdoor, which is primarily a billboard company and is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CCO, has a market cap of $8.84 billion and also is reportedly being eyed for takeover.

People familiar with the situation said bids due Monday for Clear Channel Communications, traded on NYSE under the symbol CCU, were from a consortium that include the Blackstone Group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Providence Equity Partners as well as a separate consortium that includes Bain Capital, Texas Pacific Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners. VNU Group, parent company of The Hollywood Reporter, is owned by a consortium that includes Blackstone Group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Thomas H. Lee Partners.
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