Clear Channel mulls bids

Offers are said to be in the $36-a-share range

The board of Clear Channel Communications, the nation’s largest radio group, met Tuesday to consider two rival bids from groups of private equity firms.

It’s not clear when the board will pick a winner, or announce a sale, although it’s likely to be soon given the speed of the auction process.

One offer comes from a consortium including Providence Equity Partners, Blackstone Group and KKR.

The other is from Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee.

Bids are said to be in the $36-a-share range, which values the San Antonio company at about $18 billion.

Clear Channel shares closed off 0.79% Tuesday at $34.11 — still way up from their low for the year of $27. The stock’s enjoyed a major boost since this summer, largely on takeover speculation.

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