An end to the gross goodbye?

goldstar.jpegYou may have heard that yesterday, Clear Channel announced that it was being acquired in a $26.7 billion deal, which includes the assumption of about $8 billion in debt. In addition to the announcement, the company filed five separate merger-related documents yesterday, which among other things, included details about the hefty fees many of the players will receive as detailed in this Marketwatch story.

But one of the things I found particularly interesting, or perhaps hopeful, was the item buried in the 8-K about how both CEO/COO Mark Mays and President/CFO Randall Mays “have relinquished the right to receive federal and state tax gross-up payments on both their severance payouts and on the 1 million options. After all, gross-ups are a fairly standard part of mergers and can add millions (and even tens of millions) to the cost of the deal. So while there may be other parts of this merger that don’t quite meet the sniff test — and one lawsuit has already been filed — the lack of a gross-up is worthy of a rare gold star.