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Clear Channel sets vote on $18 billion deal

/ Source: The Associated Press

Clear Channel Communications Corp. said Monday it will hold a meeting in March for shareholders to vote on the proposed acquisition of the radio giant in a private equity deal.

Clear Channel agreed in November to be acquired for about $18.7 billion by an investment group led by Thomas H. Lee Partners LP and Bain Capital Partners LLC. They would put up $37.60 in cash for each Clear Channel share and assume an additional $8 billion in debt.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Clear Channel’s largest holder, mutual fund company Fidelity Management & Research, has told the company it will reject the current proposal. At least three of the company’s top investors, who together hold about 16 percent of the stock, have indicated their opposition to the deal, which needs a two-thirds vote to pass.

This week San Antonio-based Clear Channel is mailing definitive proxy materials to shareholders for review. The proxy materials were filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, the company said.

The meeting will be held March 21 in San Antonio, the company said. People who were shareholders of the company as of Jan. 22 will be able to vote on the deal.

Clear Channel’s shares were down 67 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $36.43 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.