On Wednesday,Idisputed BusinessWeeks assertion that Blackstone/KKR/Providence/Hicks Holdings had walked away from a bidding war over Clear Channel Communications. The BusinessWeek claim originated from an interview with Tom Hicks, so I concluded by writing the following:
— I do not know why Hicks said what he said about walking away from the table, but yesterday put in a call to his PR rep to ask. No word back yet. One possibility is that Hicks Holdings left the consortium prior to Clear Channels final decision, but I am certain that Blackstone, KKR and Providence were involved until the moment Bain and TH Lee learned that they had won. —
I have now heard back from Hicks who, through his spokesman, says the following: The group of which [Hicks Holdings] was a part did not walk away, but was simply outbid. As to why it was outbid, it could have been because the [losing] group had a higher return hurdle rate than the winning bidders, or perhaps a different vision for the company But, at the end of the day, nobody walked away.
The BusinessWeek story remains untouched on both its main website and in a blog posttitled “Tom Hicks: Why he walked away from Clear Channel.”