Katz Communications is on the verge of being sold to Dallas-based investment group Hicks, Muse & Co. The sale price, according to industry sources, will be approximately $ 265 million-$ 270 million.
“We’ve gone beyond a handshake with Hicks, Muse,” said Katz Communications president and CEO Peter Goulazian, who declined to discuss price. “We hope the deal will be completed in the coming months.”
According to the terms of the agreement being hammered out, current senior management — including Goulazian and Katz chairman James Greenwald — would stay in place for at least two years.
There has been open speculation that sometime within that period Hicks, Muse would take Katz public. Under Goulazian and Greenwald, the company has pursued an aggressive expansion plan, including the acquisition of the TV station rep firm Seltel two years ago.
In addition, the company was the first of the traditional rep firms to make a foray into cable. With all its divisions, Katz billed approximately $ 2 billion last year, with an estimated cash flow of about $ 35 million, industry sources say.
“The public market might eventually be the way for us to go if we want to continue to grow the company,” said Goulazian. Hicks, Muse “is certainly capable of taking it that way.”
Goulazian said the company started shopping for a buyer when key investors Sandler Associates and 61K Associates (which have 37% and 13% stakes in the company, respectively) decided they wanted to cash out. The other half of Katz is in the hands of 155 employee shareholders.