iHeartMedia, On the Verge of Bankruptcy Filing, Receives Last-Minute Extension
© Billboard | By Ed Christman | March 08, 2018 8:40 AM EST
The months-long death watch concerning whether iHeartMedia files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection has received another stay of execution, as the company says a forbearance agreement has been extended to Monday, March 12 at 11:59 PM, according to a filing with the SEC.
The company had a forbearance agreement with its creditors in place that would have delayed it from defaulting on its credit agreement, should it fail once again to make an interest payment due on its debt. However, that agreement expired at 11:59 PM last night (March 7), which would have left the company in default of its debt obligations and forced to file for Chapter 11 protection, had the extension not been filed this morning.
This extension means that the company and its creditors will continue to work out a restructuring plan that will either end in a pre-packaged Chapter 11 agreement with the terms of the company re-organization already decided -- as was roughly laid out in a restructuring term sheet filed with the earlier forbearance agreement on March 4 -- that would result in iHeart's debtors becoming the majority owners of the company.
But if the terms of agreement are not hammered out, the Chapter 11 filing could turn into a full-blown war between various classes of creditors.
As it stands now, the pre-packaged agreement on file with the SEC calls for Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, iHeart's billboard advertising operation, to be spun off from the company, with the holders of the term loan credit facility claims and the priority guaranteed notes maturing in 2023 to become the holders of the economic interest in the Outdoor operation. It also calls for other debtors to receive new iHeart stock, or a combination of new stock and special warrants, with the amounts for each creditor weighed against the amount of debt they hold from the company. Press reports suggest that the creditors in line for the new stock will receive as much as 93 percent of the equity in the re-organized company.
Further, iHeart will have a new senior secured asset revolving credit facility, and a new secured $5.75 million in debt.
As part of the plan, Liberty Media has offered to give the company $1.16 billion for its financing needs in exchange for a 40 percent equity stake in the restructured iHeart. Liberty already owns a controlling interest in SiriusXM, which views terrestrial radio as its biggest rival in the car.