iHeartRadio bankruptcy: iHeartMedia, owner of 850 radio stations, files for Ch. 11
16 March, 2018, 01:10
IHeartMedia, one of the world's largest radio and billboard companies, is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as part of an agreement with its lenders to reduce debt.
The beleaguered company announced Thursday that it has reached an agreement with creditors and investors to restructure more than $10 billion in debt, about half of what it now owes investors. The media firm has been battling a massive debt load for some time, much of which stems from a so called "leveraged buyout" of the company by its current owners back in 2008.
The parent company of a dozen Arkansas radio stations, including four in the state's capital city, says its outlets will operate as usual during a debt restructuring.
Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital LLC control 68% of the iHeartMedia voting stock shows a recent annual report. The company also sells advertising on digital platforms, at live concerts and on syndicated programs featuring personalities such as Rush Limbaugh and "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest.
The company is struggling under the weight of $20bn in debt, but told investors Wednesday (March 14) that it had agreed a restructuring deal with the holders of more than $10bn of this figure.
The company's lawyers told the court iHeartMedia was on the cusp of having enough support from creditors to impose its plan on hold-outs.
The company is facing $20 billion in debt which had compounded roughly over the past ten years. The more than six months long negotiations between the company and its creditors evolved into this pre-packaged Chapter 11 filing.
The filing comes after John Malone's Liberty Media Corp proposed on February 26 a deal to buy a 40 percent stake in a restructured iHeartMedia for $1.16 billion, uniting the company with Liberty's Sirius XM Holdings Inc satellite radio service.
The Denver-area stations owned by iHeartMedia are Channel 93.3 (KTCL), 95.7 The Party (KPTT), 97.3 KBCO, 103.5 The Fox (KRFX), KOA Newsradio (at 850 AM and 94.1 FM), 107.9 KBPI, 630 KHOW, Orange and Blue 760 (KDSP) and 106.7 The Bull (KWBL).
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Highbridge accumulated 103,398 shares or 0.04% of the stock. 15,390 are held by Liberty Mutual Asset Mngmt. Its up 12.23% from 2.56M shares previously. (NYSE: DKS ), 16 have Buy rating, 2 Sell and 18 Hold.
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