Clear Channel Buyout Stalls

The third time is not the charm for Clear Channel Communications, which again has postponed a shareholder vote to take the company private.

The media conglomerate’s board of directors announced postponement of a special shareholders meeting scheduled to coincide with its annual meeting May 22nd, and had not rescheduled it as of press time.

However, Clear Channel’s board of directors gave the latest proposal a serious boost by giving its recommendation for shareholder approval.

Two previously scheduled shareholder votes were scuttled when it appeared they would not support the buyout plan.

The latest offer, led by private equity firms Bain Capital Partners and Thomas H. Lee Partners – the same venture capital firms that just sold their interest in Front Line Management – would pay unaffiliated shareholders either $39.20 per Clear Channel share in cash, or shares in a new corporation formed to acquire the company.

The amended offer isn’t significantly different than the one the board rejected May 7th. It reversed itself the next day and scheduled a vote on the matter May 22nd.

Instead, the board announced May 18th the meeting would be rescheduled after the filing of an updated proxy statement and prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Clear Channel did hold its annual shareholders meeting, however, and the current board of directors, including Lowry, Mark and Randall Mays, was reelected and will remain in control of the company even if it goes private.

They also sit on the board of Live Nation, which Clear Channel spun off in 2005.