US regulators OK Clear Channel buyout

The Federal Communications Commission has signed off on the $19.5 billion deal that will take the nation's largest radio broadcaster private, an agency official, quoted by an Associated Press report, said.

The Associated Press report said San Antonio-based Clear Channel Communications grew into a media giant and punching bag for foes of media consolidation following a 1996 law that eliminated the national limit on how many radio stations a single company may own.

Clear Channel is being taken private by a group led by Thomas H. Lee Partners LP and Bain Capital Partners for $39.20 a share, the report said.
Shareholders already have approved the transaction, it added.

An agency official, who asked not to be identified because the approval has yet to be announced, said all five commissioners had approved the deal.

A formal announcement spelling out the details of the transfer of Clear Channel's broadcast licenses to the new owner will likely be released next week.

The buyout still needs approval from the Justice Department.

When the company announced the buyout in November 2006, it said it would sell 448 of its 1,150 radio stations, all located in smaller markets, in deals separate from the larger transaction, the report further said.