×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

iHeartMedia Files for Potential IPO

As it nears the exit of a year-long bankruptcy reorganization, iHeartMedia filed paperwork laying the groundwork for an initial public offering — to raise money to pay off its debts.

The radio broadcasting giant and podcast leader may decide to pursue an IPO, or execute a direct listing (as Spotify did in its unconventional IPO last year).

In an S-1 filing with the SEC Wednesday, iHeartMedia said, “We intend to use the net proceeds from this offering to repay indebtedness.” The company set a placeholder amount of $100 million as the amount to be raised (used to calculate the registration fee), which is not indicative of the size of the offering.

“Audio is hot, and we are the No. 1 audio media company in the U.S. based on consumer reach,” iHeartMedia touted in the filing.

The company owns 848 radio stations in 160 markets and the iHeartRadio music and podcast streaming service, which has 128 million registered users. It also produces over 20,000 local live events per year and eight major national tentpole events, including the iHeartRadio Music Festival and iHeartRadio Music Awards, and claims to be the largest commercial podcast publisher.

Formerly known as Clear Channel, iHeartMedia filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March 2018 after amassing more than $20 billion in debt following a leveraged buyout a decade earlier.

This January, a U.S. court approved iHeartMedia’s bankruptcy plan, which will cut its debt from $16.1 billion to $5.75 billion. The plan calls for iHeartMedia and billboard operator Clear Channel Outdoor to be separated, creating two independent public companies. Also in January, the company said chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and Rich Bressler, president, COO and CFO, have extended their contracts by four years. The execs will remain in their respective roles following the completion of restructuring process.

Among the risk factors cited in its IPO prospectus, iHeartMedia said there could be “substantial market overhang from securities issued in the Reorganization and freely tradeable as of the date of this offering.” The company’s stock remains available to trade on an over-the-counter basis.

For full-year 2018, iHeartMedia generated $3.6 billion in revenue — essentially flat from the year prior — and a net loss of $38 million on a pro-forma basis (backing out Clear Channel Outdoor). Its $976 million of adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortizaiton), represents a 27% margin. That, iHeartMedia claimed, is the highest adjusted EBITDA margin of any major advertising-supported audio media company, iHeartMedia claimed.

The company enlisted Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley as underwriters for its potential IPO.

More Digital

  • Nancy Pelosi

    Facebook on Defensive Over Fake Pelosi Video

    Facebook faced growing criticism this week over its decision not to remove a video that was doctored to suggest that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was intoxicated during a recent public event. The video, which has been viewed more than 2.5 million times, had been slowed down notably, giving the impression that Pelosi was slurring her [...]

  • Little-Black-Mirror-Maia-Mitchell

    Netflix Launching 'Little Black Mirror' Video Series Starring Maia Mitchell, Lele Pons, Rudy Mancuso, Juanpa Zurita and More

    To promote next month’s premiere of “Black Mirror” season 5, Netflix is launching a short video series — “Little Black Mirror,” with a cast that includes an ensemble of Latinx social-media stars. The three “mini-stories,” aimed at Spanish-speaking audiences, are inspired by the tech-dystopian universe of Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones’ anthology series. “Little Black [...]

  • Twitter

    Twitter Permanently Bans Anti-Trump Krassenstein Brothers, Who Deny They Broke Platform's Rules

    Twitter permanently suspended the accounts of Ed and Brian Krassenstein — progressive political activists famous for trolling Donald Trump and his supporters — with the company alleging the brothers used bogus accounts to amplify their reach on the platform. “The Twitter Rules apply to everyone,” a Twitter rep said in a statement. “Operating multiple fake [...]

  • Snapchat

    Snap in Talks to License Music to Let Snapchat Users Embed Songs in Posts

    Snap wants to up Snapchat’s music game. The company has been in negotiations with music companies including the big three — Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group — to license song catalogs for the Snapchat app, according to two industry sources familiar with the talks, confirming a Wall Street Journal report. [...]

  • T-mobile - Netflix - John Legere

    T-Mobile Passes Netflix Price Hike Through to Subscribers

    T-Mobile is getting ready to raise prices for subscribers who have taken advantage of its “Netflix On Us” promotion: The mobile carrier will begin charging existing customers who have participated in the promotion an additional $2 per month to account for Netflix’s recent price increase. Consumers will see their bill go up starting on 6/2. [...]

  • Oona King

    Snap Hires Google Exec Oona King as First VP of Diversity and Inclusion

    Snap continues to fill out the ranks of its revamped leadership team: The Snapchat parent tapped Oona King, most recently Google’s director of diversity strategy and a former member of British Parliament with the Labour Party, as its first VP of diversity and inclusion. King, who starts at Snap on June 11, is also the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content