Sunday, June 22, 2008

Did the Banks Win or Lose on Clear Channel?

15 May 2008 - Daniel Primack over at PE Hub in his post sizing up the Clear Channel settlement said it was difficult to determine if the banks were winners or losers.  Given the failure of the banks to present a united front, as described by Deal Journal, having John Mack's top bankers step up to work out a solution was just about the best outcome the banks could have hoped for.  After going to court the banks cannot compare the outcome to just paying the break-up fee not to do the deal.  They traded a lower loss on this debt to improve their reputations and cap the losses that could have been enormous if the court case went forward.  Yet, it is worth noting that the court case may have been an exercise in futility for the sponsors if their damages got capped at $600mn by the courts.  If this settlement makes the sponsors give up more on BCE then clearly the banks are winners here.

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