There was a boatload of unsecured debt on the books at iHeartMedia Inc. as it filed for Chapter 11 voluntary bankruptcy last week. The list includes several familiar industry names.
Bankruptcy court filings give a glimpse of how much is owed to whom. Financial services firm Law Debenture Trust Co. of New York tops the list with unsecured debt of $1.9 billion.
More familiar to broadcasters: Ratings firm Nielsen is owed $20.8 million; SoundExchange Inc. is owed $6.4 million in music royalty fees. Global Music Rights ($2 million), ASCAP ($1.4 million) and BMI ($1.4 million) appear further down. Also on the list are broadcast groups like Beasley, Hubbard and Cumulus, possibly connected to iHeartMedia-owned Total Traffic & Weather Networks and commercial inventory provided by the broadcasters. iHeartMedia also owed Vertical Bridge $2.2 million for tower leases at the time of its Chapter 11 filing.
It should be noted that the financial amounts are a snapshot in time, as a person familiar with the developments told us; and it’s possible the amounts could be higher or lower based upon timing of invoices being mailed and payments being received. Also keep in mind these are just the top 30 unsecured creditors being listed. The smallest amount on the list, owed to Sun & Fun Media, still comes in at over $1 million.
There are no broadcast equipment manufacturers or suppliers listed in the paperwork of top unsecured creditors. It’s likely further proof of financial claims will be filed against the company but so far none appear in iHeartMedia’s online court docket.
The San Antonio-based iHeartMedia listed $12.3 billion in total assets and $20.3 billion in debt in paperwork filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Committee. Most of that debt is secured, held by major stakeholders and guaranteed by collateral, analysts say.
iHeartMedia, the largest U.S. radio group, has about 850 radio stations along with digital, mobile, social and data platforms and products like the iHeartRadio app.