BUSINESS

iHeartMedia Inc. Files For Bankruptcy

iHeartMedia Inc, the owner of the US’s largest radio network, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

About iHeartMedia

iHeartMedia is a leading global media and entertainment company specializing in radio, digital, outdoor, mobile, social, live events and on-demand entertainment. The company owns and operates 858 broadcast radio stations. Additionally, it serves more than 150 markets throughout the U.S. The company has over a quarter of a billion monthly listeners in the United States. Because of this, they have one of the largest reaches of any radio outlet in the United States. iHeartMedia’s programming includes music, news, talk shows, sports, and other content. They own a variety of media platforms, such as broadcast stations, websites, HD digital radio channels, and live events. Additionally, they put on many events and festivals including the annual iHeartRadio Music Festival as well as many local events.

iHeartMedia Music Festival

Company Debt

The company is struggling under the weight of $20 billion in debt. Previously, on March 14, the company told investors that it had agreed to a restructuring deal with its largest debtors. The firm said that it had received widespread support across the capital structure for a comprehensive balance sheet restructuring.  As a result, this will reduce iHeartMedia’s debt by more than $10 billion. The debt dates back to its 2008 leveraged buyout. In the meantime, iHeartMedia will continue to operate as usual for the time being. To implement the necessary balance sheet restructuring, iHeartMedia and certain subsidiaries including iHeartCommunications, Inc. (formerly Clear Channel Communications Inc.), have filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

Statements

Bob Pittman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of iHeartMedia made the following statement:

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.

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.

iHeartMedia believes that its cash on hand, together with money generated from ongoing operations, will be sufficient to fund and support the business during the Chapter 11 proceedings.

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