Clear Channel to Sell TV Group for $1.2 billion

Apr 20, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Clear Channel Communications has entered into an agreement to sell its 56-station television group, and related Web sites, to Providence Equity Partners Inc. for approximately $1.2 billion.

The stations, which include 18 digital multicast stations, are located in 24 states. Also part of the sale are Clear Channel’s Television Operations Center and Inergize Digital Media, which manages the group’s online and wireless efforts.

The sale is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2007.

“While we will miss the important role they have played in the Clear Channel family, we are excited that they will be partnered with Providence Equity to continue to pursue growth opportunities in the rapidly changing media environment,” Clear Channel CEO Mark Mays said in Friday’s announcement.

“This is a rare opportunity to acquire a premier collection of broadcast television stations with strong positions in many attractive markets across the United States,” said Al Dobron, a Managing Director of Providence Equity.

“These are well run, quality television stations,” said Sandy DiPasquale, a veteran broadcast executive and the President and CEO of BlueStone Television. “I look forward to continuing my partnership with Providence Equity and working with the talented CCTV employees to build on their success integrating broadcast and internet services to serve their communities.”

The Television Group currently consists of ten CW, eight Fox, seven NBC, six ABC, six CBS, four MyNetworkTV, two NBC Weather Plus, two Telemundo, five independent stations, and six stations affiliated with Clear Channel’s Variety Television Network (VTV).

Meanwhile, Clear Channel said it has struck agreements to sell 161 of the 448 radio stations it put up for sale. The company estimates net proceeds will be approximately $300 million for the 161 stations, which are located in 34 markets.

Rhode Island-based Providence Equity Partners describes itself as the leading global private equity firm specializing in equity investments in media, entertainment, communications and information companies around the world. The principals of Providence Equity manage funds with approximately $21 billion in equity commitments and have invested in more than 100 companies operating in over 20 countries since the firm’s inception in 1990. Among the investments: Freedom Communications, PanAmSat, Univision, Warner Music Group, and Yankees Entertainment Sports Network. Providence Equity is headquartered in Providence, RI (USA) and has offices in New York and London. The firm is opening offices in Hong Kong and New Delhi.

Clear Channel said none of the sales agreed to or still being sought are affected by the merger agreed to with Bain Capital Partners, LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P.