A $19 billion bid to privatize Clear Channel appears likely to fall through as buyers and financiers bicker—with credit-crunch-induced liquidity woes a major stumbling block, the Wall Street Journal reports. A credit agreement between private equity firms and the banks funding the move has become shaky. “No one wants to do this deal except for the seller,” said a source.
The sale was arranged in 2006, when access to credit, and prospects for the largest US radio broadcaster, were better. Selling to Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital for $39.20 a share seemed fitting, but now Clear Channel’s shares are closer to $32. The company’s “viability” isn’t the issue, says an expert: “It's purely the problems inherent in the debt world today.”