Drumroll, please: Almost two years after radio station and billboard company Clear Channel Communications began exploring strategic options, its $17.9 billion takeover finally closed on Wednesday.
The deal, slowed by legal battles in two states and negotiations to lower the purchase price, became a symbol of the buyout industry’s glory days and the subsequent struggles of the credit crunch.
Clear Channel had agreed to be acquired by private equity firms Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital Partners last year. The market quickly changed and credit to fund the acquisition became more costly and difficult to secure.
The buyout firms had agreed to buy Clear Channel for $39.20 per share, but were forced to file lawsuits in New York and Texas to ensure that a syndicate of six banks would still fund the deal. In May, the bank syndicate, the private equity buyers and Clear Channel struck a deal to lower the price to $36 per share.
And now Clear Channel’s stock will cease trading at the end of the day. Phew!