As iHeartMedia Struggles to Exit Bankruptcy, Liberty Media Reportedly Eyes Control of the Company

Should Liberty Media purchase a major share in iHeartMedia, John Malone’s firm would personal a majority stake in 4 music properties.

Several months in the past, John Malone and his firm, Liberty Media, lastly achieved what they’d lengthy hoped for.

In a $three.5 billion all-stock deal, SiriusXM acquired Pandora Radio.  The transfer, per SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer, has created “the world’s largest audio-entertainment firm.”  Combined, the satellite tv for pc radio firm can have over 106 million month-to-month customers.  The firm has additionally projected to earn greater than $7 billion in income this 12 months.

Not content material to cease there, Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei confirmed Malone’s firm stays “completely” fascinated about buying a sizeable stake in Universal Music Group as soon as it goes public.

Now, the corporate could go after a standard broadcast radio large.

Sizing up iHeartMedia.

iHeartMedia hasn’t carried out so nicely up to now few years.

With the corporate’s debt reaching $20 billion, iHeartMedia filed for chapter earlier this 12 months.

That hasn’t stopped prime executives from priting f the transfer.

While workers battle to maintain the corporate afloat, CEO Bob Pittman will obtain a $10.three million bonus.  COO Robert Bressler and General Counsel Robert Walls may even earn tens of millions in bonuses.  Pittman has collected greater than $14 million within the 12 months main as much as the corporate’s chapter.

Several weeks in the past, iHeartMedia confirmed it sought a decide’s approval for the motivation plan.

Last Monday, iHeartMedia confirmed overwhelming creditor help its plan to exit chapter.  More than 90% collectors and shareholders authorized the Chapter 11 reorganization plan.  This will shrink its funded debt by $10.three billion to $5.eight billion, leading to a separation its radio and out of doors promoting companies.

With the approval, iHeartMedia now hopes to finish its restructuring course of and exit chapter in early 2019.

Yet, the courtroom could finally reject the plan.  Bankruptcy Court Judge Marvin Isgur will concern his choice on December 11th.

Once the corporate filed for chapter, Liberty Media made an unsuccessful bid to buy a 40% stake in iHeartMedia for $2.9 billion final June.

According to insiders, John Malone’s firm hasn’t given up.

Once iHeartMedia exits chapter, Liberty Media has reportedly deliberate to take management the corporate.

Speaking with the New York Post, insiders say Maffei and his workforce have ready for a slew negotiations with the corporate’s collectors.  They intention to accumulate a complete stake 35% in iHeartMedia.

Pimco and Franklin Resources personal about 25% the corporate.  Currently, Liberty Media will find yourself with a four% to five% share as soon as iHeartMedia exits chapter.

According to insiders, iHeartMedia lenders will personal almost all post-bankruptcy shares.  They reportedly wish to exit “at an affordable value.”

Should Maffei and his workforce succeed, they’ll mix the corporate with Liberty’s different music ferings.  This contains SiriusXM, Live Nation, and Ticketmaster.  Liberty Media at the moment owns 71% SiriusXM and 33% Live Nation Entertainment.  iHeartMedia may promote Live Nation concert events, for instance, and radio exhibits on the satellite tv for pc radio service.

Speaking a couple of attainable acquisition in October, Citigroup analyst Jason Bazinet posited Liberty may type a document label.  This label would enhance artist priles and permit them to earn extra in music income than with main labels.

Bazinet defined,

Yet, Liberty may finally scrap negotiations.

The firm at the moment owns $660 million iHeartMedia debt.  Owning a majority share in iHeartMedia would drive Malone’s firm to consolidate financials, thus “hurting] Liberty’s buying and selling a number of,” defined one other supply.