One deal in particular was on everyone’s lips at a two-day private equity conference sponsored by Dow Jones this week – Clear Channel. Leaning against walls in corridors and settled in armchairs, conference-goers had hushed cellphone conversations about the $20 billion deal, still to close.
Two executives at the private equity firms buying the radio operator – Bain and Thomas H. Lee – showed up to talk about trends in the buyout industry. That wasn’t quite satisfying enough for a pack of investors who hotly pursued them after the conference (admittedly that’s an assumption that they all hold positions in the stock but one wonders why the frenzied interest otherwise). The Bain exec managed to escape by squeezing into an elevator with his press representative. ”No comment” was about the sum total that the crowd got.