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Author Topic: IHeartMedia is said to plan bankruptcy as soon as this weekend  (Read 2282 times)

Fansome

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IHeartMedia is said to plan bankruptcy as soon as this weekend

Embattled IHeartMedia is circulating documents for a bankruptcy filing that could come as soon as this weekend for the biggest U.S. radio broadcaster.

Advisers to some of iHeart's senior creditors have been shown bankruptcy papers that would be used on the first day of court proceedings, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Despite a year of negotiations on a restructuring plan, a formal support agreement still isn't in place with the most-senior lenders, and the creditors aren't in restricted talks with the company, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private negotiations. Creditors typically agree to restrict some of their activities in exchange for non-public information when talks heat up.

A bankruptcy filing is all but certain, with iHeart and creditors each swapping proposals in recent weeks for a consensual restructuring. But pressure is mounting on iHeart after it missed a Feb. 1 interest payment, with a 30-day grace period about to run out. On top of that, the broadcaster on Thursday skipped payments on two more sets of bonds. If the company files without a pre-negotiated restructuring plan in place, the bankruptcy could turn into a free-fall, with some of the biggest and most contentious specialists in distressed companies potentially tussling for years over about $20 billion of debt.

Billionaire John Malone's Liberty Media stepped in with a last-minute offer to senior creditors that would help salvage iHeart by injecting cash and financing a trip through bankruptcy, but analysts have said the bid isn't high enough to win over creditors. Still, talks remain fluid and ongoing between the secured creditor group and Liberty Media, according to the people.

Liberty has already bought a substantial position in iHeart debt and sees potential synergies between iHeart and SiriusXM radio, Chief Executive Officer Greg Maffei said Thursday on a call with investors. IHeart runs the biggest land-based radio network with about 850 stations and Sirius has the largest satellite radio network.
Sinclair deal to sell WGN to chairman's business partner gives broadcaster control

Wendy Goldberg, a spokeswoman for San Antonio, Texas-based iHeart, declined to comment. IHeart is controlled by Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners, which staged a leveraged buyout in 2008. The senior creditor group is advised by investment bank PJT Partners and law firm Jones Day. Representatives for those firms declined to comment or didn't provide an immediate response. Liberty spokeswoman Courtnee Chun didn't immediately provide comment; the company is advised by investment bank Millstein & Co. and law firm Weil Gotshal & Manges.

Active talks still continue with lenders, noteholders and financial sponsors, iHeart said in a regulatory filing that disclosed the latest skipped payments. Negotiators have narrowed many of their differences, with the two sides swapping increasingly similar plans for a bankruptcy. But a deal has been held up by the insistence of iHeart's private equity sponsors on retaining a stake in the reorganized company.

Meanwhile, iHeart and creditors are positioning themselves for what could come after a the bankruptcy filing, with the company disclosing a bonus plan for Chief Executive Officer Bob Pittman and junior bondholders controlling more than $200 million of unsecured debt suing in a New York state court. They're accusing iHeart of secretly using assets for years to secure other borrowing. The suing bondholders include funds run by Angelo Gordon & Co., a distressed-debt investor that had been accumulating shares of iHeart's billboard advertising company, Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc.

In Chicago, iHeart Media owns seven stations, including Top 40 station WKSC-FM 103.5, adult contemporary station WLIT-FM 93.9, and hip-hop and rhythm and blues station WGCI-FM 107.5.

IHeart's 14 percent bonds due 2021 fell 0.75 cents to trade at 12.25 cents on the dollar Thursday, according to Trace bond-price reporting. The shares fell 12 cents to trade at 43 cents a share at 12:44 p.m. in New York.

Offline Pigmeat

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Re: IHeartMedia is said to plan bankruptcy as soon as this weekend
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2018, 1752 UTC »
Who are you again?

Offline Josh

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Re: IHeartMedia is said to plan bankruptcy as soon as this weekend
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2018, 1818 UTC »
That leveraged buyout sure was worth it.
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Offline KaySeeks

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Re: IHeartMedia is said to plan bankruptcy as soon as this weekend
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2018, 1858 UTC »
This was telegraphed* a long time ago.

*Appropriate since this is a forum on radio
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Offline JimIO

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Re: IHeartMedia is said to plan bankruptcy as soon as this weekend
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2018, 2035 UTC »
How many lawyers and accountants does it take to do good radio?

Offline redhat

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Re: IHeartMedia is said to plan bankruptcy as soon as this weekend
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2018, 2115 UTC »
That depends on how much money you want to make!

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Offline Azimuth Coordinator

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Re: IHeartMedia is said to plan bankruptcy as soon as this weekend
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2018, 0108 UTC »
Hey what's $20 billion of debt.  Time for some crowd funding
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Offline BoomboxDX

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Re: IHeartMedia is said to plan bankruptcy as soon as this weekend
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2018, 1721 UTC »
To the average listener in a reasonably large metro, nothing will change. It's more of a hassle for the lawyers and bean counters.
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Offline JimIO

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Re: IHeartMedia is said to plan bankruptcy as soon as this weekend
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2018, 1836 UTC »
You misspelled hustle.

Offline Rizla

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Re: IHeartMedia is said to plan bankruptcy as soon as this weekend
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2018, 0551 UTC »
I wonder if nothing will change. There's endless debt and a money-go-round here that might witness supply problems, one of these days.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2018, 0555 UTC by Rizla »
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Offline BoomboxDX

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Re: IHeartMedia is said to plan bankruptcy as soon as this weekend
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2018, 0149 UTC »
The stations themselves, especially in the large metros, are money makers, and no company buying them would want to mess it up. But you never know. The CBS/Entercom deal led to stations changing formats in many cities, including mine, where several stations changed formats.
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