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iHeartMedia Admits Massive Debt Load May Implode the Company by Year’s End

iHeart Chairman and CEO

The forecast is looking grim for media giant iHeartMedia, which owns iHeartRadio, as a massive debt looms over the company and efforts to refinance are being blocked by creditors. A massive $20 billion debt load is hovering over the largest radio conglomerate (850 stations) with 350 Million in debt due this year. Experts are predicting iHeart will have to file chapter 11 and the company’s Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman is going to include language in the next quarterly report warning investors. Forecasters predict iHeartMedia may implode by the end of this year at which point it will be returned to the lender leaving stockholders empty handed. The debt load was created with the $24 billion leveraged buyout of then Clear Channel Communications Inc. by private-equity firms and Thomas H. Lee Partners in 2008. Market Watch is reporting that there is another $8.3 billion of debt coming due in 2019.  As access to music from various digital sources continue to grow, iHeart is also forced to compete for ad revenue largely targeting streaming companies like Pandora and Spotify.

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