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From Bankruptcy To Public Company: What You Need To Know About IHeartMedia's Return To Nasdaq

From Bankruptcy To Public Company: What You Need To Know About IHeartMedia's Return To Nasdaq

Radio broadcaster iHeartMedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: IHRT) returned to the public market Thursday just months after emerging from bankruptcy.

What Happened

IHeartMedia, the largest radio broadcaster, emerged from bankruptcy in January when a judge approved a restructuring plan that eliminated more than $10 billion in debt, according to The Wall Street Journal.

In return, iHeart's ownership was transferred from longtime private equity owners to lenders and bondholders. CEO Bob Pittman and CFO Rich Bressler remain in place, WSJ said. 

The company is also known for its concert-promotion business and has exposure to the streaming music space through the iHeartRadio app, WSJ said. In addition, iHeart hosts podcasts through the 2018 acquisition of Stuff Media.

This helped iHeart quickly increase advertising revenue and target a younger and more engaged audience, according to Thursday's story. 

Shares of iHeart were trading down 1.22% at $16.25 at the time of publication Thursday. 

Why It's Important

IHeart's return to the public market is through a direct listing, which implies the company isn't raising new capital.

Nevertheless, a return to the stock market offers improved flexibility for investors and can serve as a baseline for capital raises at any point in the future via a secondary offering.

"iHeart talks a lot about being one of the largest creators of podcasts," Raymond James' Justin Patterson told Fortune. That's an area that investors are pretty excited about for Spotify, [so] that might be an opportunity for iHeart."

What's Next

One of the main questions investors will be looking for iHeart to answer is how will it "pivot in an increasingly digital world" as more mature media company born out of the terrestrial radio industry, Patterson also told Fortune.

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Photo by Jeffrey Beall/Wikimedia

Posted-In: Fortune radio streaming The Wall Street JournalNews Media Best of Benzinga


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