Clear Channel Locks Up SFX Deal Aug. 1; Becker Named Chairman/CEO of SFX Unit

News   Clear Channel Locks Up SFX Deal Aug. 1; Becker Named Chairman/CEO of SFX Unit After months of scrutiny, anticipation and procedural reviews, it's official: Clear Channel Communications Inc. has confirmed that it has completed its $4.6 billion acquisition of events promoter SFX Entertainment Inc.

After months of scrutiny, anticipation and procedural reviews, it's official: Clear Channel Communications Inc. has confirmed that it has completed its $4.6 billion acquisition of events promoter SFX Entertainment Inc.

At the same time, Clear Channel announced that Brian Becker is now chairman and CEO of the "SFX unit." Becker was formerly executive vice president of SFX.

Seeking to exploit what it described as a natural synergy between radio and live music events, a Clear Channel statement indicated that the company was now "a player in the live entertainment business."

SFX bought up many of the theatres and theatrical properties once owned by Livent, which were put up for sale when the latter dissolved in the wake of alleged financial improprieties on the part of former Livent head Garth Drabinsky. The Clear Channel buy represented the latest shift in the increasingly corporate climate of Broadway theatre.

As reported on Feb. 29, the multi-billion dollar stock swap deal calls for "each SFX class A share to be traded for 0.6 of a Clear Channel common share and each SFX Class B share to be swapped for one Clear Channel share. On Aug. 1, Clear Channel reported that its shares closed at 78-1/4, up 2 1/16 for the day on the New York Stock Exchange. On Aug. 4, Clear Channel was trading at 77 15/16. The company's 52-week range is 57 7/8 - 95 1/2.

SFX is currently trading at 47 1/16, based on a 52-week range of 25 - 49 3/16.

After an aggressive acquisitions campaign in sports and entertainment, SFX Entertainment established an early lead in marketing “live experiential” events. SFX develops and manages touring Broadway shows, and sells Broadway subscription series and individual productions in 55 markets. An integrated franchise that promotes and produces a broad variety of live entertainment events locally, regionally and nationally, SFX has 122 venues overall, and owns or operates venues in 31 of the top 50 domestic markets.

Once Clear Channel finalizes its $14 billion deal to purchase radio broadcaster AMFM (expected at any time), the company will operate a total of 874 radio and 19 television stations in the United States and will have equity interests in over 240 radio stations around the world. In its other significant business, Clear Channel operates more than 700,000 outdoor advertising displays,including billboards, street furniture and transit panels.

-- By Murdoch McBride