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Clear Channel Settles Lawsuit for $$200 Million Dividend

Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc. (CCO), which operates more than 750,000 outdoor advertising displays on five continents, agreed to declare a $200 million dividend to settle a shareholder lawsuit that challenged a $1 billion loan.

The agreement is subject to approval of a Delaware Chancery Court judge at a later hearing, the San Antonio-based company said in preliminary settlement documents posted today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Clear Channel “denies all allegations of wrongdoing” in agreeing to the accord, and officials have considered “the strengths and weaknesses of plaintiffs’ claims,” company lawyers said in a memorandum filed with the SEC.

An investor, the City of Pinellas Park Firefighters Pension Board, sued Clear Channel on March 7, 2012, contending company directors wrongfully approved an unsecured loan worth as much as $1 billion and transferred more than $600 million to parent Clear Channel Communications Inc., a radio broadcaster.

The parent is owned by the private-equity funds Bain Capital LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners LP.

Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings fell 5 cents to $7.36 at 10:20 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

The case is In re Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc. Derivative Litigation, CA7315, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington).

To contact the reporters on this story: Phil Milford in Wilmington, Delaware, at pmilford@bloomberg.net; Jef Feeley in Wilmington, Delaware, at jfeeley@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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