Radio-Station Owner Citadel Advances After Rejecting Two Merger Proposals

Citadel Broadcasting Corp., the U.S. radio-station owner that emerged from bankruptcy in June, rose 7 percent in over-the-counter trading after saying it rejected two unsolicited merger offers from an undisclosed party.

The Las Vegas-based company received a proposal for a “merger transaction” early last month and an “improved” bid Nov. 29, according to a regulatory filing today. Its board rejected both offers as not in shareholders’ best interests. The New York Times’s Dealbook blog reported that the bidder was Cumulus Media Inc. Jonathan Doorley, a spokesman for Citadel, declined to comment. Cumulus Chief Financial Officer J.P. Hannan didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Citadel exited bankruptcy protection June 3, and has a market capitalization of about $1.48 billion, according to Bloomberg data. The company sought Chapter 11 protection last December, saying the recession had “put a chokehold on advertising spending,” its main source of revenue.

The company is the third-largest radio broadcaster in the U.S., with 224 stations including WLS in Chicago and WABC in New York. The company added $2 billion in debt when it acquired the ABC Radio Network and radio stations from Walt Disney Co. in 2007.

The company’s Class A shares rose $1.75 to $26.75 at 2:21 p.m. New York time in over-the-counter trading.

To contact the reporter on this story: Katie Hoffmann in New York at khoffmann4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net

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