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ARN boss says iHeartRadio will ‘operate as usual’ following iHeartMedia bankruptcy

ARN CEO Rob Atkinson said he expects iHeartRadio Australia will “continue to operate as usual” following iHeartMedia’s filing for bankruptcy.

iHeartMedia, the parent company of ARN’s streaming partner iHeartRadio, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US today.

“ARN does not expect the iHeartMedia Chapter 11 proceedings to in any way impact the current licensing arrangement,” Atkinson said in a statement to Mumbrella.

“iHeartRadio Australia will continue to operate as usual as ARN continue to implement our strategy to further build the platform’s presence in the Australian market.”

iHeartRadio Australia was launched in partnership with ARN back in 2013. The move marked the first expansion of the company’s digital streaming service outside of the US.

iHeartMedia announced today it had reached an agreement with the holders of its more than $10 billion outstanding debt, along with its financial sponsors.

In today’s press release, iHeartMedia said it “has filed with the Bankruptcy Court a series of customary motions seeking to maintain business-as-usual operations and uphold its commitments to its valued employees and other stakeholders during the process.”

The company believes its cash on hand, together with cash generated from ongoing operations, will be sufficient to fund and support the business during the bankruptcy proceedings.

Bob Pittman, iHeartRadio chairman and CEO said: “The agreement we announced today is a significant accomplishment, as it allows us to definitively address the more than $20 billion in debt that has burdened our capital structure.”

On February 1, iHeartMedia skipped an interest payment of $106 million, kickstarting a 30-day grace period in which it failed to negotiate with creditors.

Liberty Media, a parent company of SiriusXM, stepped in with an offer of $1.16 billion for 40% of iHeartMedia.

Doubts about iHeartMedia’s ability to survive financially were being reported as far back as 2010, when the company was still operating as Clear Channel Communications.

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