iHeartMedia Considers IPO, Direct Listing as Bankruptcy Exit Nears

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. radio broadcaster iHeartMedia Inc. is considering paths to return to the public markets as it nears an end to bankruptcy court oversight.

IHeart may pursue an initial public offering or direct listing on a U.S. exchange, the company said in a statement Friday. As part of its reorganization plan, the San Antonio-based company is required to “use reasonable best efforts” to list its Class A common stock after it emerges from bankruptcy.

The company didn’t give a timeline for the potential listing and said all options are being evaluated.

IHeart in January won court approval for a plan to cut about $10 billion of debt, which would allow it to emerge from the bankruptcy it filed for in March last year. It had previously attracted interest from Liberty Media Corp., which had said it may acquire a 40 percent stake in the business, but ultimately withdrew.

The radio operator collapsed into bankruptcy after a 2008 leveraged buyout overloaded the company with debt that topped $20 billion.

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