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Liberty Media Withdraws $1.16 Billion Offer for iHeartMedia Stake

John Malone
AP Photo/Paul Sakuma

Liberty Media, the parent company of Sirius XM, has formally withdrawn its offer to acquire 40% of iHeartMedia, the bankrupt radio conglomerate, for $1.16 billion.

The announcement came as iHeartMedia informed the bankruptcy court on Thursday that neither the company nor its senior creditors thought the transaction was worth pursuing. IHeartMedia did not rule out some other arrangement, noting that combining the businesses could create $500 million in operational synergies.

But it cited “pro forma corporate governance issues, the ability to achieve operational synergies in a minority interest structure, and purchase price” as reasons for rejecting the deal.

In a statement on Friday, however, Liberty said it had dropped out “after reviewing results which were below expectations and negatively impacted our initial estimates of value.”

“We remain open to future discussions as iHeart proceeds with its reorganization,” the company said.

In its statement to the court, iHeart said it is also open to a continuing dialogue with Liberty, and with other potential partners.

“It is possible that such efforts result in the Debtors obtaining a higher or better offer,” iHeart said.

IHeartMedia declared bankruptcy in March, bowing to the burden of $20 billion in debt. The company holds more than 850 radio stations, making it by far the nation’s largest radio company.