Company declines to comment.

Bids are due in the coming days for Clear Channel Communications Inc., the largest U.S. radio company, sources familiar with the situation told Reuters on Nov. 9.

Clear Channel, which has about 1,150 stations, said last month in response to reports that it was considering offers to be taken private that it had hired investment bank Goldman Sachs & Co. to help it evaluate strategic alternatives.

Sources familiar with the situation told Reuters at that time that two private equity consortiums were looking at bidding for the company, which has a market valuation of more than $17 billion based on Thursday's (Nov. 9) closing price of $34.67.

Private equity groups Providence Equity Partners, Blackstone and KKR make up one consortium. The rival group consists of Bain Capital, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Texas Pacific Group.

Other parties have been speculated to be interested. The Wall Street Journal reported on Nov. 9 that Apollo Management and Carlyle, and Cerberus Capital and Oak Hill Partners were two other bidding groups, but that these had largely faded from the process.

It was unclear which day the bids were due, with various media reports saying final bids were due either Friday (Nov. 10) or Monday (Nov. 13). The Financial Times and Wall Street Journal reported that final bids could lead to a deal being announced as early as next week.

One source familiar with the situation told Reuters that final bids were due in the coming days. A separate source said that bids were due by Monday.

KKR and Blackstone declined comment, as did Thomas H. Lee, Texas Pacific and Bain. Providence and Goldman Sachs were not available for comment. Clear Channel declined comment.

Clear Channel, based in San Antonio, Texas, last week forecast strong fourth-quarter radio advertising sales and posted a 9.5% drop in third-quarter profit, reflecting the spin-off of its entertainment unit.

The company is a dominant player in many U.S. radio markets, where it often owns a number of stations playing different formats from music to talk.

Advertising-driven radio broadcasters such as Clear Channel have been challenged to develop new formats and technology in the face of growing competition from satellite radio, the Internet and personal digital music players.

Private equity firms typically buy companies with a small portion of their own cash and borrow the rest. They usually hold a business for 3 to 5 years, restructure it, and sell it later either to a buyer or on the open market in an initial public offering.

Sometimes buyout firms "flip" an investment in a year or less when they think they can make a good profit on the sale.