Liberty Media May Still Be Eyeing iHeart
Earlier this week the NY Post reported that Liberty Media might still be angling to purchase a stake in iHeart Media before it emerges from bankruptcy in Q1. This wouldn’t be the first time Liberty has made a run at iHeart. Back in February, Sirius XM (a Liberty subsidiary) offered to buy 40% of iHeart before it went into bankruptcy. The two parties never made any progress on the deal, so it was pulled off the table a few months later.
In its previous attempt Liberty was negotiating with iHeart as a single corporate entity. This time Liberty just needs to convince individual creditors to sell their iHeart debt. As part of the bankruptcy negotiations iHeart’s lenders will own 94% of the company once it reorganizes. It’s a pretty good bet that several creditors will want to sell (even at a discount), just to be done with the iHeart saga. That’s where John Malone and Liberty could come in with a checkbook ready to buy at least a portion of the broadcaster.
It’s also worth noting the rumor mill still has Apple interested in buying iHeart, so there’s no telling where this thing could end up. I’ll keep you posted . . .