Arnold & Porter Secures Victory for iHeartMedia Lenders in Plan Restructuring $16 Billion of Debt
Arnold & Porter secured a significant victory for an ad hoc group of lenders comprised of more than 50 funds managed by Eaton Vance, OppenheimerFunds, and Symphony Asset Management, in the successful restructuring of iHeartMedia, Inc. (iHeart) and certain of its subsidiaries. The restructuring and separation capped a complex, multi-year effort by Arnold & Porter attorneys working across multiple practice areas and offices to implement a comprehensive restructuring of iHeart's approximately $16 billion of debt.
iHeart is a diversified media, entertainment, and data company that operates the largest collection of broadcast radio stations in the United States—approximately 850 stations—as well as an internet-based radio platform. In addition to radio assets, iHeart operates one of the largest outdoor advertising portfolios in the world and creates its own media content for distribution across the country. The consummation of iHeart's plan of reorganization resulted in the separation of iHeartMedia and Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc., a pre-reorganization subsidiary of iHeart, creating two independent, publicly-traded companies.
Following the template established by Arnold & Porter in the 2017 restructuring of Cumulus Media, the second largest radio broadcasting company in the US, iHeart will be the second radio station group to seek a "Petition for Declaratory Ruling" from the FCC, which would permit up to 100% foreign ownership of reorganized iHeart. The iHeart plan of reorganization became effective on May 1, 2019.
The Arnold & Porter team included Bankruptcy partners Mike Messersmith and Tyler Nurnberg, senior associate Sarah Gryll, and associate Ginger Clements; Corporate & Finance partners Emanuel Cherney, Christopher Peterson, Mark Kingsley, and Alan Glantz; Tax partner Laurie Abramowitz, senior associate Sarah Soloveichik and associate Zeno Houston; Litigation partners Jim Herschlein, Daphne Morduchowitz and Christopher Odell, senior attorney Hannah Sibiski and counsel Peta Gordon; Telecommunications, Internet and Media partner Peter Schildkraut; and Antitrust partner Michael B. Bernstein and counsel Justin Hedge.