The beleaguered company announced Thursday that it has reached an agreement with creditors and investors to restructure more than $10 billion in debt, about half of what it now owes investors. "Private equity accelerated these trends and added a mountain of new debt", Crain continued.
Executives hope to eliminate $10 million in debt.
Clear Channel Communications, which was founded in San Antonio, has become a household name. On Feb. 1, it announced it had skipped a $106 million coupon payment on debt that matures in 2021. The brand has almost 850 radio stations. Yet poor management, incredible over-leveraging, inability to innovate, and a reportedly toxic workplace environment led to its downfall.
IHeartMedia, previously known as Clear Channel Communications, has always been expected to file for bankruptcy as its $20 billion debt, mostly from a leveraged buyout in 2008, lingered. But the new owners have been unable to turn things around, even after bringing in flashy radio veteran Bob Pittman as CEO and bestowing the company with the hipper iHeartMedia moniker in 2014.
The people running iHeartMedia, Harrison said, didn't get the company into this financial situation and are trying to solve the problem that was built for years.
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IHeartMedia said it has enough cash to continue operating through the Chapter 11 proceedings.
According to Seth Crystall, an analyst at Debtwire, the filing won't likely impact the company's day-to-day operations.
"They're not shutting down", Crystall said. When it seemed those court cases weren't going to be ruled in their favor, they all reached a settlement in May 2008. "He started the concert series that you see, iHeart Concerts, and all the top performers performing at them", she says.
Owned by Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners, iHeart has remained in negotiations with debt holders for nearly a year. Upcoming: the iHeartCountry Festival featuring Luke Bryan, Keith Urban and Maren Morris (May 5 in Austin, Tex.) and the iHeartRadio Music Festival, usually held in September in Las Vegas.
Among creditors is Malone's Liberty Media, which controls satellite radio giant SiriusXM.