Acadiana Business

Done deal: Citadel now Cumulus

by Leslie Turk

Cumulus Media Inc. has completed its acquisition of Citadel Broadcasting Corp., owner of four Lafayette radio stations.

Cumulus confirmed in February that it was negotiating with Citadel Broadcasting Corp., owner of local radio stations 94.5 KSMB, 99.1 KXKC, 104.7 KNEK and 95.5 KRRQ, to acquire Citadel in a deal valued at about $2.4 billion in cash and stock. On Friday the publicly traded media giant announced that it had closed the deal.

Las Vegas-based Citadel was the nation's third-largest radio network operator, owning and operating 225 radio stations in more than 50 markets. When the deal was first announced, Cumulus, based in Atlanta, was the second-largest radio broadcaster in the country with 347 radio stations in 67 domestic media markets. With the completion of the Citadel acquisition, Cumulus says it is the largest pure-play radio broadcaster in the U.S., with more than 570 radio stations in 120 markets and a nationwide radio network serving more than 4,000 stations.

Cumulus Media expects to pay approximately $1.4 billion in cash and issue approximately 26 million shares of its Class A stock and warrants to purchase 71.7 million shares more to Citadel shareholders. Read more details on the transaction here.

Radio Inc. Friday morning reported:

The Cumulus-Citadel merger marks the end of a tumultuous few years for Citadel that began with its purchase of 22 ABC Radio stations and ABC Radio Networks in 2006. By 2008, a tumbling stock price led to warnings from the New York Stock Exchange and delisting in March 2009. Citadel filed for Chapter 11 at the end of that year, and after reorganization was forced to rescind stock grants to top executives and replace the grants with options after a private equity shareholder filed suit. Cumulus began pursuing Citadel in 2010, and, after two offers were rejected by the Citadel board, Cumulus made the negotiations public.