Digital Gabe
Cutting Edge Commentary On All Things Media

iHeart IPO 2.0 In The Works

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Yesterday iHeart Media filed an S-1 statement with the FTC as a first step towards their planned IPO.  This is significant for two reasons.  First, it’s a signal that they’re ready to emerge from bankruptcy, which needs to happen by June 7th.  Secondly, a successful IPO will raise cash for iHeart that can be used to pay down additional debt, which is still expected to be in the $10B range after their bankruptcy reorg.

I have to admit I can’t even remember the last time a radio broadcaster went public.  So there’s no real basis for a market valuation in the sector.  iHeart knows this, which is why they just put a $100M placeholder value on the company in the S-1.  Given the low-to-no revenue growth of traditional radio I wouldn’t anticipate any sort of blockbuster valuation, like the $70-75B Uber is expected to fetch when they go public.

iHeart’s IPO plans also have me thinking about all those shareholders and employees who owned stock before the bankruptcy, who ended up losing all their investment when the stock value was zeroed out.  I wonder what their reaction will be if iHeart has a successful IPO 2.0?


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