iHeart Media
iHeart Media

Report: Liberty To Make A Play For iHeartMedia

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SAN ANTONIO (CelebrityAccess) — As radio giant iHeartMedia indicates that it anticipates smooth sailing with creditors approving its reorganization plan, John Malone’s Liberty Media appears to be making a bid to control the company after it emerges from bankruptcy.

According to a report in the New York Post, insiders said that Liberty Media sees iHeartMedia as a potentially valuable part of a vertical music supply chain that includes satellite-radio giant Sirius XM and music streamer Pandora, as well as Live Nation and its holdings, of which Liberty owns about 34%.

“A ticket to a Live Nation concert could have a code on it in case its holder wants to leave the concert early,” FBN Securities Rob Routh offered as a hypothetical synergy, per the post. “The ticketholder can then listen to the remainder of the concert on Sirius while driving home.”

Sources told the Post that Liberty Media was planning a series of negotiations with iHeartMedia’s creditors in a bid to take control of roughly 35 percent of the entertainment company.

This isn’t the first time Liberty has entertained taking a stake in iHeartMedia. Earlier this year, Liberty formally offered $1.16 billion for a 40% stake in the bankrupt radio conglomerate but withdrew the bid in June, citing pro forma corporate governance issues, the ability to achieve operational synergies in a minority interest structure, and purchase price” as factors in pulling back from the deal.

“We remain open to future discussions as iHeart proceeds with its reorganization,” Liberty said at the time.

News of Liberty’s renewed interest comes after iHeart on Monday revealed that they had effectively reached a reorganization deal with their creditors that will reduce iHeartMedia’s funded debt by approximately $10.3 billion—to $5.75 billion—and result in the separation of iHeartMedia’s radio and outdoor advertising businesses.

iHeart noted that the reorganization plan was supported by more than 90% of the votes cast creditors and shareholders, far exceeding the votes required to confirm the proposal. The confirmation hearing for the reorganization plan to be approved by the court is scheduled for Dec. 17th.

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