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Clear Channel Seeks Amendment to Refinance LBO Debt

Clear Channel Communications Inc., the media company taken private by Bain Capital LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners LP in 2008, is seeking to change its loan terms as part of an effort to push out maturities on some of its $20.6 billion of debt.

The company plans to amend its credit agreement to delay maturities on borrowings and get permission to sell $750 million of bonds due 2021 to repay $500 million of loans, San Antonio-based Clear Channel said today in a statement distributed by Business Wire.

Clear Channel, which was taken private in a $17.9 billion leveraged buyout, may seek to take advantage of the “strong” high-yield bond and leveraged loan markets, Barclays Capital analysts Andrew Finkelstein and Michael Sanchez wrote in a note to clients before the announcement . The company, with $867.7 million of debt maturing this year, said Dec. 24 that it’s “exploring a diverse array of alternatives in an effort to optimize its overall capital structure.”

Some Clear Channels lenders agreed to approve the proposed changes, which require the consent of a majority of the investors in the company’s credit facilities, according to the statement. The amendment is contingent on Clear Channel repaying borrowings under its $14.1 billion senior secured credit facility.

The company’s $250 million of 5.5 percent notes due December 2016 climbed 4 cents to 78 cents on the dollar at 5:06 p.m. in New York, Trace, the bond-price reporting system of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Clear Channel’s $10.7 billion term loan rose 0.9 cent to 93.3 cents on the dollar as of 5:02 p.m. in New York, according to information provider Markit Group Ltd. The company owed $9.06 billion on the debt due January 2016, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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