Clear Channel Has Deal To Go Private

The nation's largest radio station owner, Clear Channel Communications, says it has a deal to be sold to a group of private investors.

Clear Channel says separately that it will seek buyers for 448 radio stations in smaller markets as well as for its 42-station television group. It says the sale is not contingent on the sale.

The radio stations to be sold are outside of the top-100 metropolitan markets surveyed by the rating service Arbitron.

Clear Channel owns KAGG-FM (Aggie 96), KKYS-FM (Mix 104.7), KNFX-FM (99.5 The Fox), and KVJM-FM (La Preciosa) in Bryan.

“Our decision to divest these broadcast properties was reached as a result of the ongoing optimization of our diverse portfolio of media assets,” said Mark Mays, Chief Executive Officer.

“These are profitable and well-managed properties in excellent markets. We believe that the sale of these stations will allow us to position our business to provide even greater value to our listeners and shareholders.”

The investors group led by Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital Partners is paying nearly $19 billion and assuming $8 billion in debt.

In a statement, San Antonio-based Clear Channel says shareholders will get $37.60 in cash.

The agreement allows Clear Channel to continue to field competing bids.

Clear Channel owns or operates 1,200 radio stations.

It also owns a majority of Clear Channel Outdoor, the outdoor-advertising segment that sells billboard and bus-stop ads.