iHeartMedia, the largest radio broadcaster in the United States, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy — owing $20 billion in debt.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, “iHeart said it had reached an agreement with the holders of more than $10 billion of the company’s outstanding debt for a balance sheet restructuring, which will reduce its debt by more than $10 billion.”
“In February, iHeart missed interest payments on its debt as well as two sets of bond payments making bankruptcy all but inevitable,” they explained, adding that, “A last minute deal with Liberty Media, the owner of SiriusXM Radio, that would have seen the company controlled by media mogul John Malone and inject $1.16 billion into the group also fell through.”
jHeartMedia Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman announced the details of the company’s debt agreements in a statement, Wednesday.
“iHeartMedia has created a highly successful operating business, generating year-over-year revenue growth in each of the last 18 consecutive quarters. We have transformed a traditional broadcast radio company into a true 21st century multi-platform, data-driven, digitally-focused media and entertainment powerhouse with unparalleled reach, products and services now available on more than 200 platforms, and the iHeartRadio master brand that ties together our almost 850 radio stations, our digital platform, our live events, and our 129 million social followers,” Pittman declared. “The agreement we announced today is a significant accomplishment, as it allows us to definitively address the more than $20 billion in debt that has burdened our capital structure. Achieving a capital structure that finally matches our impressive operating business will further enhance iHeartMedia’s position as America’s #1 audio company.”
In a press release, iHeartMedia also further explained the bankruptcy.
“To implement the balance sheet restructuring contemplated by the agreement in principle, iHeartMedia and certain of its subsidiaries, including iHeartCommunications, Inc., have filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division. Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiaries did not commence Chapter 11 proceedings,” iHeartMedia proclaimed. “The Company has filed with the Bankruptcy Court a series of customary motions seeking to maintain business-as-usual operations and uphold its commitments to its valued employees and other stakeholders during the process. These ‘first day’ motions, which the Company expects to be granted in short order, will help facilitate a smooth transition into Chapter 11. ”
“iHeartMedia believes that its cash on hand, together with cash generated from ongoing operations, will be sufficient to fund and support the business during the Chapter 11 proceedings,” they concluded.