Liberty Media sells its stake in US radio giant iHeartMedia


Colorado-based media and leisure firm Liberty Media has bought off its total stake in US radio giant iHeartMedia.

As Variety studies, an SEC filing from publicly-traded iHeart reveals that Liberty bought 5,941,248 class A shares on October 5. At $25.25 per share, the worth of the stake bought was round $150 million.

Founded by Chairman John Malone in 1991 and led by CEO & President Greg Maffei since 2006, Liberty nonetheless owns a 33% stake in Live Nation Entertainment.

In addition, it owns a 76% stake in SiriusXM, which in flip absolutely owns Pandora.

SiriusXM has additionally owned a minority curiosity in SoundCloud since February 2020 via a $75 million investment in the streaming audio service.

Liberty’s exit from iHeart comes practically two years after it was first reported that it was in search of Department of Justice approval to increase its stake in the radio agency.

The DOJ was reported to be contemplating blocking that plan, however gave its approval in July final 12 months, in a deal Politico reported would permit Liberty to up its shares in iHeart to 50%.

A possible bigger Liberty/iHeart deal was opposed by quite a lot of US shopper rights and artist advocacy teams, who mentioned that it might give Liberty an excessive amount of of a aggressive benefit in the market, calling it an “overreaching effort to monopolize music radio” in the United States.

In April 2020, iHeartMedia advised its traders that it was working in direction of an working cost-savings goal of $200m for the 12 calendar months of this 12 months.

That goal got here in addition to the $50m in annual calendar-year financial savings iHeart beforehand mentioned it anticipated to be achieved by the execution of “modernization initiatives” which started in February 2020 – a course of which reportedly noticed a whole bunch of workers, together with a swathe of on-air DJs, made redundant as new investment was pumped into AI-driven programming.

Speaking to Variety, an iHeartMedia spokesperson mentioned: “We appreciate Liberty’s support for iHeartMedia, originally as a holder of debt which then converted into a meaningful equity stake, and we are delighted that they received a good return on their investment.”

In January, Liberty Media Acquisition Corporation (LMAC), a “blank check” acquisition firm launched by Liberty Media, raised $575 million in its Initial Public Offering on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange in the US.Music Business Worldwide

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