The May's family-run media company Clear Channel Communications has reached a settlement with the banks it sued in March for hindering its proposed merger with CC Media Holdings, the new corporation sponsored by private equity groups Thomas H Lee and Bain Capital Partners (click here to read the story in full).
Below, representatives from these parties give their view on the settlement.
John P Connaughton, a managing director at Bain Capital, stated: "We have been extremely pleased by our partnership with the Clear Channel management team. We believe this agreement, and the definitive long-term financing package the banks have agreed to provide, offers clarity and confidence to Clear Channel's customers, employees and partners. We look forward to supporting the continued global market leadership, growth and success of the most innovative company in the radio broadcasting and out-of-home media space."
Scott M Sperling, co-president of Thomas H Lee, said: "We are pleased to arrive at this resolution which enables us to complete the acquisition of Clear Channel. We appreciate that the banks have provided the company with the robust, long-term financing that will allow Clear Channel to achieve its outstanding operational and growth potential. We would like to thank all of the stakeholders who worked to achieve this positive outcome, and we are looking forward to working closely with our investment partners and with the entire Clear Channel leadership team to execute on our plans to grow the company to its full potential."
A representative of the bank group, Chad Leat, chairman of the Alternative Asset Group at Citi, said: "The Banks are very pleased to have reached a constructive resolution of the matter. We look forward to an expeditious closing of the revised transaction and want to express our appreciation to all those who contributed to the solution. We look forward to participating with our partners in Clear Channel's continued success."
In connection with its support of a settlement, Highfields Capital Management LP, which manages funds that beneficially own 7.7% of Clear Channel's common stock, extended its Voting Agreement with entities sponsored by the private equity group. Under the Agreement, Highfields has agreed to vote in favor of the transaction and to retain up to $400 million in equity of CC Media Holdings. Additionally, the Agreement includes provisions assuring public shareholders who elect to receive stock in the surviving entity that they will receive equal treatment to the private equity investors in dividends and other distributions, representation on the board of directors of the surviving entity and have certain other rights following completion of the merger.
Jonathon S Jacobson, senior managing director of Highfields, said: "As the largest shareholder in Clear Channel, we saw an opportunity to bring all parties together to remove the risk and uncertainty of litigation and we are glad that a constructive and mutually beneficial business solution could be reached. We fully support this revised transaction."
Richard L Grubman, senior managing director of Highfields, added: "Clear Channel can now accelerate the initiatives it has underway to capitalise on the strength of its assets and drive profitability. We look forward to continuing to play a meaningful role in ensuring the company is positioned to create substantial long-term value."