This Day On The Street
Continue to site
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

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 - Get Report), 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.
1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

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
Stocks Under $10

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

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

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
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
CCO $5.68 1.10%
AAPL $93.21 -0.44%
FB $117.80 -0.22%
GOOG $701.26 0.80%
TSLA $211.34 -5.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,660.71 +9.45 0.05%
S&P 500 2,050.63 -0.49 -0.02%
NASDAQ 4,717.0940 -8.5450 -0.18%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs