Emmis shareholders awaiting word


The oft-delayed shareholders meeting is set to reconvene at 6:30 pm ET today (Thursday, September 2) and the repeatedly-extended tenders for the common and preferred stock of Emmis Communications are set to expire at 5:00 pm. The question now is whether CEO Jeff Smulyan is simply going to throw in the towel on his frustrated effort to take the company private.

There has been no announcement since Monday, when Smulyan’s JS Acquisition revealed that its financial backer, Alden Global Capital, had pulled out of the deal. That came after Smulyan struck a deal with the preferred shareholders group which had been holding up the going private transactions with a demand for better terms. An Emmis spokesperson told RBR-TVBR that Alden had initially agreed to the revised deal, then backed out.

Without Alden’s financial backing Smulyan can’t take his buyout of other shareholders at $2.40 per share to closing, so the agreement of the preferred shareholders on new terms (which have not been publicly revealed) is meaningless. They had originally been offered new high-yield bonds at 60% of the face value of their preferred stock.