Clear Channel radio deal rolling forward
THE $26.7 billion deal to take Texas-based Clear Channel Communications Inc.
private, including its cluster of seven Honolulu radio stations, is proceeding with no impact so far on the local stations.
"We expect ... business as usual," said Chuck Cotton, vice president and general manager of the Hawaii stations. It is the same message that has been conveyed to Clear Channel's 150 full- and part-time local employees working at KSSK-AM 590/FM 92.3; KIKI-FM 93.9; KDNN-FM 98.5; KUCD-FM 101.9; KHVH-AM 830; KHBZ-AM 990.
Last month, Clear Channel announced a merger agreement with a private equity group led by Thomas H. Lee Partners LP and Bain Capital Partners LLC, a deal subject to regulatory and stockholder approval. A Dec. 7 deadline for competing bids came and went with no additional offers, though the company has reserved the right to consider offers received through Jan. 5, 2007.
If no last-minute suitors come a-callin', Clear Channel stockholders will be bought out at the rate of $37.50 a share, a 25 percent premium over the company's average closing share price of $29.99 during the 30 days ending Oct. 24. Clear Channel stock closed at $35.38 yesterday.
Separately, Clear Channel also announced plans last month to sell 448 stations in markets No. 100 and below as well as its 42-station television group, but that decision does not affect the Honolulu stations, Cotton said. Honolulu is the No. 64 radio market.
Nationally, Clear Channel has restructured operations in several markets since early November resulting in the layoffs of several dozen employees, including some veteran broadcasters with more than 20 years' service at their respective stations. The ax has thus far spared Honolulu.
Golf, tennis and apres-athleticism aperitifs, appetizers and full-on meals are still available at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, even though the hotel itself is temporarily closed for earthquake damage repairs.
The golf course, its pro shop, 19th Hole restaurant, Seaside Tennis Club, the Hau Tree restaurant and Gazebo Bar are operating seven days a week. The Tuesday night luau and Saturday clambake also are still operating, according to Public Relations Manager Catherine Tarleton.
"We will also keep the beauty salon running ... and Mauna Kea Mobile Massage up and ready to roll for on-site services," she said. The salon is in the Mauna Kea golf course ladies' locker room.
While the hotel did have to lay off employees, others are still working to maintain in-flight catering service for United Airlines and other carriers.
Reservations are available through (808) 882-7222.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: email@example.com