Cox Enterprises Inc. said Monday it has made a tender offer for all the outstand ing shares of Cox Radio Inc. (CXR) for about $69.1 million. The offer for $3.80 a share, represents a 15% premium over Friday’s closing price. Cox Enterprises owns about a 78% stake in Cox Radio. If that figures reaches 90%, Cox Radio would become a wholly owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. The company’s operations include cable-television provider Cox Communications and television-stations and newspaper publisher Cox Media Group. Cox Enterprises has more than $15 billion of annual revenue and more than 77,000 employees.
The radio business has been among the harder hit mediums of the ongoing advertising slump. Cox Radio earlier this month reported its fourth-quarter net loss ballooned on surging write-downs and a 13% drop in revenue. Cox Enterprises President and Chief Executive Jimmy W. Hayes said as a privately held concern it “can take a long-term perspective, which is especially valuable in the current economic environment. Given how these economic challenges are affecting the radio industry, we believe that private ownership offers advantages that will assist Cox Radio in attaining its business objectives and managing its capital structure.” Cox Radio’s shares have been pummeled the past five years, falling from $25 to its recent all-time low of $2.90.