• Gamco Not Happy with iHeart

    Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 11.23.34 AMInsider has reported frequently on iHeart Media’s debt problems as they own 90 percent of the equity of publicly traded Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, the nation’s largest billboard company. Mario Gabelli’s Gamco Asset Management owns 10 percent of the publicly traded shares.

    Gamco has not been happy with iHeart, owned primarily by THL Partners and Bain Capital, and is now claiming that iHeart is taking advantage of its billboard unit.

    Gamco is asking why Clear Channel would fund a dividend that benefited iHeart — its biggest shareholder — rather than paying down its own debt and Gamco has sued Clear Channel in Delaware court, accusing the board of failing to act in the best interests of shareholders.

    Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 5.33.01 PMLast Friday, the New York Post reported iHeart Media confirmed it used the $222 million in dividends it collected from Clear Channel to buy back some of its junior debt that is trading at a steep discount to its $383 million face value.

    The nation’s largest radio operator, which owns  859 stations, is losing money because of the interest it pays on its massive $21 billion debt load.

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