Posted by Wolrds Largest Sale on March 11, 2011 at 10:44:25:
WLS Radio owner Citadel agrees to $2.5 billion sale to Cumulus
March 10th, 2011 @ 9:00 am
Citadel Broadcasting, the parent company of Chicago’s news/talk WLS-AM (890) and oldies WLS-FM (94.7), has agreed to be acquired by Cumulus Media in a deal valued at $2.5 billion.
The announcement of the merger Thursday culminated three weeks of negotiations between the two companies — and months of speculation about how long Citadel executives could fight off the unwanted overtures from smaller, heavily debt-laden rival Cumulus Media
Despite grave misgivings about the motivations behind the merger and about how the centralized management style of Cumulus will affect the autonomy of Citadel’s local stations, the hedge fund managers who control Citadel ultimately forced the deal through.
Michael Damsky, president and general manager of WLS, declined to comment Thursday.
Farid Suleman, president and CEO of Citadel, said in a statement: “Citadel’s board of directors has been focused on maximizing stockholder value. We believe this transaction appropriately reflects the value of the company’s assets and is in the best interests of Citadel stockholders — who can benefit from a substantial cash payment as well as stock in the combined company, which provides the opportunity to participate in the upside of the combination. I am particularly grateful to Citadel’s dedicated employees who have been instrumental in creating substantial value since the company’s reorganization in June 2010.”
The deal allows Citadel shareholders to receive $37 for each of their shares or accept 8.525 shares of Cumulus stock for each of their Citadel shares.
Pending regulatory approval, the new Cumulus will encompass 572 radio stations in 120 markets as well as Citadel’s syndication unit, the former ABC Radio Networks.
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