Clear Channel, MCD Make Move On Mean Fiddler

Mean Fiddler Music Group today confirmed Clear Channel Entertainment and MCD Productions are lining-up a takeover bid.

Mean Fiddler Music Group confirmed today (March 11) that Clear Channel Entertainment and MCD Productions are lining up a takeover bid. Following speculation and frenzied trading on the London stock exchange, MFMG last month revealed that it had received a preliminary offer; CCE and MCD were tipped here as being among the likely suitors.

Through their Hamsard investment vehicle, the two companies are proposing to buy more than 21 million shares from MFMG chairman Vince Power at 60p each. The cash proposal values Power's 34.9% stake in MFMG at almost £13 million ($25 million). MFMG shares are currently trading at 54.5p on the London stock exchange.

Under Takeovers and Mergers rules, Hamsard must make a formal offer within 30 days.

If completed, the deal would accord Clear Channel a considerable influence in the British venues and touring market, where MFMG's activities range from promoting the Glastonbury Festival to managing the Astoria and Forum venues.

Dublin-based MCD -- which owns the Point, Olympia and Gaiety venues -- has steadily raised its stake to become MFMG's second-biggest shareholder, with 24.3%. In December 2003, MCD owner Denis Desmond bought 10 million shares in MFMG.

An attempt by Power to sell his holding collapsed last October, after he entered into a complex deal to amalgamate MFMG with its joint-venture multimedia partner Media Internet Telecom. In a surprising about-face, Vince reversed his decision and aborted plans to raise funds by a share placing.

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