B12 Solipsism

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Clear Channel in Trouble

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Cleaning Up
Cleaning Up

I wonder when Bain Capital is going to hollow out Clear Channel, home to the Vulgar Pigboy, Rush Limbaugh.

A hedge fund is accusing a subsidiary of Clear Channel Communications Inc. of improperly moving $656 million to its debt-laden parent, which is owned by private-equity giants Bain Capital Partners and Thomas H. Lee Capital Partners.

The cash transfers, which were fully disclosed, were made from billboard company Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc. The company is 89% owned by Clear Channel Communications, with the rest owned by public shareholders.

JHL Capital Group, a $1.5 billion Chicago hedge fund, argues in a letter to the billboard company that its board members may be liable for “breach of duty” due to cash transfers to the larger media company, according to the Nov. 29 letter. The hedge fund owns less than 1% of Clear Channel Outdoor, according to securities filings.

The private-equity firms, which are named in the letter, are at the center of the dispute. Bain and Thomas H. Lee teamed up to purchase Clear Channel Communications in 2008 in what has thus far been one of the more disappointing buyouts of recent years. In addition, four members of the billboard company’s board are employed by the two firms.

…Bain and Thomas H. Lee paid $17.9 billion to buy media-and-entertainment company Clear Channel Communications just before the economy headed south and radio advertising deteriorated. Today, Clear Channel’s actively traded debt is rated at the lower end of the “junk”-bond universe, even though revenue and operating income rose last year. The company has more than $12 billion in debt due in 2016 and default is a “real possibility,” said Melissa Link, an analyst at Fitch Ratings, in an interview. Clear Channel declined to comment on Ms. Link’s analysis.
The $656 million moved to Clear Channel Communications has risen from $123 million two years ago and could exceed $1 billion “in the next several years,” the company recently told investors in bond-offering papers. The company wouldn’t comment on the offering.

(click here to continue reading Transfers At Clear Channel in Dispute – WSJ.com.)

We Three Pigs
We Three Pigs

And a possible reason why Mitt Romney refuses to say much about Limbaugh – Romney still gets most of his money from Bain, remember?

Clear Channel is going to host Rush until the bitter end…

Rush Limbaugh is probably not sweating this one, folks. The critics keep piling on. But the immensely popular talk radio host has the biggest “sponsor” of all on his side: Clear Channel radio network.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, and New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan are among the latest to criticize Limbaugh for calling a Georgetown University student a “slut” and a “prostitute” after she testified in favor of birth control insurance coverage.

But Clear Channel’s Premiere Radio Networks Inc., which hosts Limbaugh’s conservative talk show, has voiced its unwavering support for Limbaugh, whose contract runs through 2016.

“The contraception debate is one that sparks strong emotion and opinions on both sides of the issue,” Premiere Networks told the Associated Press. “We respect the right of Mr. Limbaugh, as well as the rights of those who disagree with him, to express those opinions.”

A representative for Premiere declined to tell the news service how much revenue the company is losing over the recent loss of advertisers seeking to distance themselves from Limbaugh and his comments.

(click here to continue reading Rush Limbaugh has the biggest support of all from Clear Channel. – latimes.com.)

Written by Seth Anderson

March 9th, 2012 at 8:11 am

Posted in Business,politics

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