Similar to what Cumulus Media did prior to filing for bankruptcy, iHeartMedia subsidiary iHeartCommunications has elected to not make a $106 million interest payment due today.
The move triggers a 30 day grace period upon which iHeart can make the payment and not come into default, however it was done to force a deadline with its lenders to come to a restructuring agreement. iHeart now has until March 3 to come to a restructuring agreement with its debt holders to push back upcoming payments or eliminate as much of its $20 Billion in debt as possible. Otherwise the company will be in default and lenders can begin seizing collateral or assets to recoup the money owed. That would lead to iHeart filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy just as Cumulus Media did in November as part of a deal with many of its lenders to convert their debt into equity in the restructured company.
iHeartCommunications, Inc. today announced that its Board of Directors has elected not to make a cash interest payment of $106 million, due February 1, 2018, to holders of its 14% senior unsecured notes due 2021 (the “Notes”) as active discussions continue among its lenders, noteholders, and financial sponsors regarding a comprehensive debt restructuring. The Company’s Board elected not to make the payment in connection with ongoing efforts to proactively and comprehensively address the Company’s capital structure.
The decision will not trigger an event of default under the indenture as the Company will utilize a 30-day grace period under the indenture during which it retains the right to make the interest payment to the holders of the Notes and remain in compliance with the indenture governing the Notes.
The Board is considering options as part of its strategy to achieve a comprehensive restructuring of the Company’s debt.