This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
See Cramer's multi-million dollar portfolio for FREE and get his new book Get Rich Carefully! Learn More

Can Ryan Seacrest Save Clear Channel?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Ryan Seacrest's $300 million private equity score may act more like a new funding round for debt-laden Clear Channel (CCMO) than an investment in new media ventures run by the America Idol host.

That's because Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital -- both big financial backers of the broadcaster -- are funding the deal to bring in mega-profitable Searcrest productions like "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" that can act as a savior for the long suffering Clear Channel investors.

Can Ryan Seacrest Save Clear Channel?

At the height of the credit boom, THL and Bain Capital spent $17.9 billion to buy Clear Channel, which has a 89% ownership of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings (CCO), in a deal that's since yielded billions in losses. With a partial ownership in Ryan Seacrest Productions and the $300 million it has to invest, Clear Channel and its private equity owners may be hoping that Seacrest can instruct high returning media investments and help the company fix its finances by 2014, when a daunting $4 billion in debt comes due.

In a January 30 report, Moody's Investor Service said that Clear Channel has $16.5 billion in debt coming due by 2016, the largest debt stock of any company with a rating of B3 or lower [a highly speculative rating] in that time. The agency gives Clear Channel bonds a junk Caa2 rating that indicates very high credit risk.

"Many of these companies will face challenges refinancing their debt, especially if their capital structures are untenable and if business fundamentals do not improve," wrote Moody's Investor Service analysts Kevin Cassidy and Tiina Siilaberg in the note. In 2012, Clear Channel's debts are manageable, notes Moody's and Standard & Poor's.

The investment by Clear Channel and the private equity investors adds to their collaboration with Seacrest, who hosts "On Air With Ryan Seacrest" and "American Top 40," both carried on Clear Channel radio stations. With the $300 million in funds, Seacrest is looking to add to his successful cable programming and a newly created joint venture with Mark Cuban-owned HDNet, AEG and talent agency-CAA. But the deal may also represent a significant equity push by Clear Channel's owners to shift the company's income statement toward growth Web media businesses ahead of its debt maturities.

Stock quotes in this article: CCO 

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
DOW 16,408.54 -16.31 -0.10%
S&P 500 1,864.85 +2.54 0.14%
NASDAQ 4,095.5160 +9.2910 0.23%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs