SAN ANTONIO - The Justice Department on Wednesday approved the $19.5 billion sale of Clear Channel Communications, the largest U.S. operator of radio stations and the world's largest billboard company.
The approval of the sale to a group of investors led by private equity firms Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners is the final regulatory hurdle for a deal that initially struggled to get shareholder approval. The deal, which allows some shareholders to continue owning a minority portion in an unusual equity buyout structure, is expected to close by March 31.
Justice is requiring the private firms to sell six radio stations in Cincinnati, Houston, Las Vegas and San Francisco to address anticompetitive concerns.The firms own stakes in other stations in those markets.
Bain and THL already own interest in Cumulus Media Partners, another large radio station operator.