Good timing? - Broadcasting & Cable

Good timing?

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Seven executives and directors of mid-market radio station owner Citadel Communications bought stock in the company in the weeks before an agreement to sell to buyout firm Forstmann Little, but after chats began between Citadel Chairman Larry Wilson and a Forstmann Little executive.

The $2 billion deal sprang from a conversation Wilson had with the executive at a "social function" in October. A company spokesman would not specify the date of the contact or when serious discussions began. But SEC reports tracked by insider-trading researcher CDA/Investnet show that Wilson, director Robert Fuller, CFO Donna Heffner and four vice presidents bought shares between Oct. 26 and Nov.1 for $8.50-$11.69 each, or an average of $10.28. Not huge blocks, but shares Forstmann Little agreed to buy for $26 apiece in cash. Wilson was the most active, buying 110,000 shares for about $1 million. Citadel's Wilson was "not available" last week, but a spokesman noted Wilson and the other executives had been fairly steady buyers of the Citadel stock throughout the price slide from $60 in January to as little as $8.

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