Clear Ch. going private for $18.7 bil

Clear Ch. going private for $18.7 bil 1Clear Channel Communications Inc., the nation’s biggest radio station operator, said Thursday it has agreed to be acquired for about $18.7 billion by an investment group.

The transaction would be one of the biggest deals in which a company has been taken private, and showcases the vast sums that buyout groups have been able to assemble to acquire public companies.

An investor group led by Thomas H. Lee Partners LP and Bain Capital Partners LLC is paying $37.60 in cash for each share of Clear Channel, a 10.2% premium over its closing price on Wednesday. The buyers are also assuming about $8 billion in debt.

San Antonio-based Clear Channel’s shares jumped $1.22, or 3.6%, to $35.34 in late afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange after rising earlier to a new 52-week high of $35.88.