SAN ANTONIO, TX, (CelebrityAccess) – iHeartMedia, Inc. announced on Jan 22nd that the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas has signed off on the company’s plan to exit bankruptcy.
Under the terms of the new reorganization plan, iHeartMedia said it plans to complete the restructuring process in the first half of 2019.
Under the terms of the approved plan, iHeartMedia will shed more than $10 billion in debt, reducing its outstanding balance sheet obligations from $16.1 billion to $5.75 billion.
The company, as previously announced, will also spin off its outdoor advertising business Clear Channel Holdings as a standalone entity.
As well, iHeartMedia revealed that much of the company’s senior management, including Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bob Pittman, and Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer Rich Bressler, will remain in place with their contracts with iHeartMedia extended by four years.
“iHeartMedia is America’s number one audio company, with unparalleled multi-platform capabilities across broadcast radio, podcasts, influencers, live events, social marketing, digital and data that uniquely serve the needs of digital and traditional marketers and a consumer reach in the U.S. greater than any other media outlet,” said Bob Pittman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of iHeartMedia, Inc. “We are delighted to reach this significant milestone in our restructuring process, which will give us a new capital structure that matches the strong operating performance of our business. iHeartMedia’s unique place in the advertising world perfectly positions us to take advantage of the renaissance underway in audio.”
“Our ability to advance through the restructuring process this smoothly is a testament to both the strength of our operating business and the strong support of our stakeholders, including our debtholders who will become our owners, our advertising partners and our operating team,” Mr. Pittman continued. “We have accomplished so much in the past several months alone – from major acquisitions such as HowStuffWorks, which has firmly positioned the company as the #1 commercial podcast publisher globally, and Jelli, the pioneering technology foundation for the data-infused programmatic buying and selling of broadcast radio, to the continued development and implementation of transformative new technology. We will continue to work together to invest in and grow our innovative and exciting services, cutting-edge products and great programming for decades to come.”
iHeartMedia, formerly known as Clear Channel Communications, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March 2018, after years of struggling with debt assumed as part of their 2008 leveraged buyout by led by private equity investors Bain Capital Partners and Thomas H. Lee Partners.
The company operates more than 850 radio stations around the U.S., making it the largest radio broadcasting conglomerate in the country, both by revenue and number of stations. As well, they operate a live event portfolio that includes concert and festival promotion, as well as awards shows and late last year, the company ventured into the world of podcasting with the acquisition of Stuff Media.