A bid by
chief Jeff Smulyan to take his company private failed, sending shares down 14% late Friday.
Smulyan said in a statement late Friday that his ECC acquisition vehicle "has withdrawn its May 7th non-binding offer to purchase shares of Emmis Communications Corporation in a going-private transaction." Smulyan cited a failure to reach terms and a decline in broadcast-sector valuations.
In May, Smulyan offered $15.25 a share for the broadcaster in a deal that valued it at $567 million. Shares shot up on that news.
But in a letter this week to the Indianapolis company's board, Smulyan stated that "despite good faith negotiations over the past three months, it has become clear that ECC will be unable to reach agreement with the Special Committee as to terms of a proposal from ECC that they would recommend for submission to a shareholder vote."
Smulyan pointed to less-than-ideal market conditions, including a downturn in the financing markets.
"I continue to believe in the long-term prospects of Emmis," Smulyan said in the letter to the board. "I look forward to continuing to work with our phenomenal group of employees to build value in the company's portfolio."
Emmis dropped $2.02 to $12.50.