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Indebted iHeartMedia ‘may not last 12 months’

The radio/advertising giant, a former parent of SFX/Live Nation and a festival promoter in its own right, has told investors there is "substantial doubt" over its future

By IQ on 24 Apr 2017

Robert Pittman, iHeartMedia Inc.

iHeartMedia CEO Robert Pittman

image © OAAA

iHeartMedia Inc., the troubled US radio giant which gave birth to Live Nation, has told investors it may not make it through another year.

In its most recent current report filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (h/t MBW), iHeartMedia vice-president Lauren Dean wrote that the company’s Q1 2017 financial results are likely to include a note casting “substantial doubt as to our ability to continue as a going concern for a period of 12 months”.

Despite preliminary results indicating an operating income of US$114.06 million in the first quarter (revenue was $1.33 billion), iHeartMedia’s debt load continues to grow, fast approaching the $20bn mark. Compounding matters, Reuters reports a group of the company’s lenders have signed a cooperation agreement opposing any attempt at debt restructuring.

The company’s Q1 2017 financial results will include a note casting “substantial doubt as to our ability to continue as a going concern”

iHeartMedia is the US’s largest radio broadcaster, with more than 250m monthly listeners, and, through its Clear Channel Outdoor subsidiary, one of the world’s largest billboard advertising companies. In a previous life, as Clear Channel Communications, it was also once the parent company of the Robert Sillerman’s original SFX Entertainment (not to confused with the ill-fated EDM-focused SFX 2.0), which it spun off in 2005 to form Live Nation.

It still promotes several music festivals, including iHeartRadio Music Festival and iHeartCountry Festival.

Much of the San Antonio, Texas-based company’s current financial difficulties stem from 2008, when private-equity firms Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners took Clear Channel private in $24bn leveraged buy-out.

It lost its senior VP of music, Darren Pfeffer, to Madison Square Garden Company earlier this month.


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