Clear Channel shareholders OK sale

97% approve merger with private equity firms

Capping one of the more arduous efforts to take a media company private, about 97% of shareholders voted Thursday to approve Clear Channel’s buyout led by private equity firms Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee.

About 74% of shares outstanding in the radio and outdoor ad giant had voting rights exercised. The merger resulting in the entity CC Media Holdings, which will own Clear Channel, will be finalized next Wednesday.

Under the terms of the merger agreement redrawn in May to address the constricted capital markets, shareholders will get $36 in cash for each share they own.

The deal had run aground earlier this year when banks balked at funding the loans at rates agreed to before the credit crisis had worsened. Dueling lawsuits resulted but the cases were later abandoned when terms were renegotiated.

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