EXCLUSIVE consortium led by Warshaw in $1.2 billion bid for Cumulus Media – sources

April 14 (Reuters) – A consortium led by U.S. radio station industry veteran Jeff Warshaw has offered to acquire Cumulus Media Inc (CMLS.O) for nearly $1.2 billion including debt, have sources familiar with the matter said Thursday.

Warshaw has informed Cumulus, an Atlanta-based owner and operator of 406 radio stations, that it would be willing to take it private for $15 to $17 a share, the sources said.

Shares of Cumulus were hovering around $11 before news of the offer was released on Thursday afternoon. They rose 40% on the news to end trading at $14.21

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Warshaw has indicated he would be willing to pay more, subject to due diligence, the sources added. More details about the Warshaw consortium could not be learned.

It was unclear how Cumulus would respond to the offer and no deal was certain, the sources said, asking not to be identified as the matter was confidential.

A Cumulus spokesperson confirmed that the company had received “an unsolicited, non-binding and highly conditional expression of interest” and that its board of directors was reviewing it with its financial and legal advisors.

Warshaw, who is the managing director of Connoisseur Media, an operator of 13 radio stations, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Beyond its radio stations, Cumulus has a digital platform that ranks among the top five podcast networks in the United States. The company had long-term net debt of nearly $800 million at the end of December.

Cumulus is seeing strong advertising demand driven by sportsbooks, government, restaurants and cryptocurrency platforms, analysts at Noble Capital Markets, who have a price target of $27 on the market, wrote in February. stock. Cumulus’ revenue grew 12% year-over-year in 2021, while its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization increased 66%.

Warshaw’s blank check acquisition company, Virtuoso Acquisition Corp, merged with automotive data analytics company Wejo last year in a $1.1 billion deal.

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Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York and Dawn Chmielewski in Los Angeles; Editing by Howard Goller and Leslie Adler

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