Clear Channel talks may end dispute

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The buy-out of America’s largest radio company, signed at the high point of the private equity boom and on hold since the start of the credit crisis, appeared closer to completion yesterday.

Clear Channel Communications’ private equity buyers – Thomas H Lee and Bain Capital – held settlement talks with the consortium of banks, including Royal Bank of Scotland, which initially promised to fund the deal but has since tried to change the terms of their promised loans. A judge delayed the start of a trial. Reports suggested Clear Channel had agreed to accept a lower price, cutting the value of the deal from $19.4bn to possibly $18bn.