Cox Radio shareholders spurn buyout


Less than the required 50% of publicly-held shares of Cox Radio were tendered by Wednesday’s deadline, so Cox Enterprises has extended the buyout offer until 5:00 pm ET today (Friday). Cox Enterprises insists that this is it – that the $4.80 per share offer will not be increased or extended again.

“Though we are extending the tender offer, Cox Enterprises has made it absolutely clear that its revised offer price of $4.80 per share is its best and final offer. Cox Enterprises will not increase its offer,” said Jimmy W. Hayes, President and CEO of Cox Enterprises.

The tender offer is subject to a majority of public shareholders tendering their shares and that condition had not been met by the original Wednesday deadline. Cox Radio has just under 17.2 million public shares outstanding, which constitute the 22% of equity not owned by Cox Enterprises. But that number includes shares held by Cox Radio management and other insiders. So, the target number for 50% of all shares held by non-related parties is 8,420,424. As of Wednesday, approximately 6,443,000 shares had been tendered – nearly two million short of the required level.

If the 50% condition is not met by today’s deadline Cox Enterprises said in a statement that the tender offer “will not be further extended.”

RBR/TVBR observation: We may see this buyout bid fail, just as past buyout bids for Emmis and Hearst-Argyle failed. Of course, Hearst Corporation is back with another tender offer to buy out all other public shareholders of Hearst-Argyle – and at a much lower price than the previous offer that failed before the advertising marketplace collapsed.