After months of stops and starts, Clear Channel's board today gave the green light to a $19.5 billion buyout offer. The communications giant bit after Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital, which have been bidding since November, gained the backing of two large shareholders. The successful offer was $39.20 per share, 20 cents more than a previously rejected bid.
Fidelity and Highfields, which together own 14% of Clear Channel, backed the bid after Lee and Bain Capital agreed to allow outside shareholders the option to keep a stake in the firm. Two-thirds of shareholders must approve the terms, which forbid any current shareholder from holding more than 9.9% of the restructured company.