iHeartMedia has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and radio industry officials believe the broadcasting giant will be in a much stronger position post-restructuring. The company filed for Chapter 11 in March 2018, listing $12.3 billion in assets and $20.3 billion in debt.

Womble Bond Dickinson bankruptcy attorney Jeff Tarkenton discussed iHeartMedia’s bankruptcy and the company’s prospects for the future, with Radio World.

Tarkenton said the company’s financial difficulties are largely due to the $24 billion leveraged buyout in 2008.

“That’s mostly been washed away with the reorganization. iHeartMedia’s best practices now will be focused on how to compete successfully in the market.” Tarkenton tells Radio World. To compete, iHeartMedia will likely have to shed additional debt as well as to obtain capital through its IPO to make acquisitions and develop technology.

Tarkenton said that with mutual and hedge fund companies now being part-owners of iHeartMedia, it is possible that the company will sell off some stations in order to accomplish that goal of shedding debt.

“Hedge funds are generally known for emphasizing short-term returns and focusing on extracting short term value from their investments, which may include selling assets and focusing on cost-cutting measures,” he tells Radio World.

Click here to read “iHeartMedia Emerges from Chapter 11” at Radio World.

Jeff Tarkenton has more than 35 years of bankruptcy experience, guiding creditors, landlords, trustees and those with equity interests in commercial bankruptcy cases, fraudulent conveyance litigation and preference lawsuits.