Billboard giant Clear Channel's owner IHeart Media (mainly a radio operator in the US) has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the USA, drowned by over $20bn of debt it incurred in a private equity buyout around the time of the financial crisis of 2007.
After four extensions to a Forbearance agreement that would have put the company into default after skipping a $106 million interest payment, iHeartMedia has announced that it has reached an agreement with holders of more than $10 billion of its outstanding debt.
The case is iHeartMedia Inc., 18-31274, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Texas (Houston).
IHeartMedia, which is based in San Antonio, had warned in 2016 that it had reached an impasse with lenders.
The company said it has enough cash to support it through Chapter 11 proceedings.
iHeart has filed a series of motions with the bankruptcy court seeking to maintain business-as-usual operations and uphold its commitments to employees and other stakeholders during the process.
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The past few weeks have been a tumultuous time for iHeartMedia Inc, owners of highly successful radio streaming platform iHeartRadio. The pact, meant to give the company a framework for a speedier reorganization, would cut iHeart's debt by more than $10 billion, it said. It also is the producer of syndicated radio shows featuring Ryan Seacrest the host of American Idol and political personalities such as Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.
Negotiations have been underway for the best part of a year to try to restructure iHeart's debts.
IHeartMedia faces a legal challenge from a group, led by investment fund Angelo, Gordon & Co, which holds $190 million of junior debt, according to the company.
Late last month, John Malone's Liberty Media made a last-minute offer to take a 40% stake in the reorganized company for $1.1 billion.
Cumulus is also going through Chapter 11 right now.
The filing comes after John Malone's Liberty Media Corp proposed on February 26 a deal to buy a 40 percent stake in a restructured iHeartMedia for $1.16 billion, uniting the company with Liberty's Sirius XM Holdings Inc satellite radio service. The deal would unite iHeartMedia with Liberty's Sirius XM Holdings Inc satellite radio service.