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iHeartMedia, largest U.S. radio company, files for bankruptcy

Staff Writer |
IHeartMedia filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as the largest U.S. radio station owner reached an in-principle agreement with creditors to restructure its overwhelming debt load.

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The company, which filed for bankruptcy along with some of its units, said it ‍reached the agreement with holders of more than $10 billion of its outstanding debt for a balance sheet restructuring, which would reduce its debt by more than $10 billion.

IHeartMedia, which has struggled with $20 billion of debt and falling revenue at its 858 radio stations, said cash on hand and cash generated from ongoing operations will be sufficient to fund the business during the bankruptcy process.

IHeartMedia skipped a $106 million interest payment on Feb. 1, triggering a 30-day grace period during which the company has tried to hammer out a deal with it bondholders.

The company disclosed on Monday it was still exchanging proposals with its creditors, but had yet to reach an agreement.

Its most recent proposal would have given holders of secured loans, who are owed nearly $13 billion, about $5.6 billion in new debt and 94 percent of the equity in a reorganized iHeartMedia.

These creditors also would have received iHeartMedia’s 89.5 percent stake in Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings.

Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners control 68 percent of the voting stock of iHeartMedia.


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