Audacy Shares Halt Trading As NYSE Moves For Delisting


Updated at 5:40pm Eastern

As Tuesday’s trading session commenced on the New York Stock Exchange, it seemed like another ordinary day for Audacy Inc. Shares were trending downward, to $0.0936, by 2pm Eastern.

Then, trading was halted for the company’s stock, which trades under the “AUD” symbol. A representative for JCIR, which handles investor relations communications for the company, acknowledged this, noting only that there are “multiple reasons” for why a company would put a stop to the trading of its publicly held shares.

What are those reasons? We now know the answer.

According to an internal e-mail shared to radio industry trade publications ahead of an official announcement notes that Audacy Corp.’s share price is so low, that the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is initiating a proceeding to delist its stock.

The decision immediately impacts a May 24 shareholder vote, one that would alter the company’s Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation to allow Audacy to engineer reverse stock split.

Why did the NYSE move to delist Audacy shares on Tuesday afternoon?

“Our common stock traded at an ‘abnormally low selling price,'” the company said in the internal memo. “As a result, the NYSE has suspended trading in our stock and will initiate a proceeding to delist our stock from the NYSE.”

While Audacy said in the memo that “this news is disappointing,” it affirmed that the NYSE decision “has zero impact” on Audacy’s ability to serve listeners and customers or run its operations effectively.

“To be clear, we are business as usual,” the memo read. “Our radio stations, digital platforms, podcasts, and all other products and services will continue operating normally. We continue to execute a robust action plan to emerge healthy from current conditions.”

Lastly, Audacy took special care to note that its liquidity was $124 million as of March 31, 2023, and that the company has no debt due until July 2024.

Official news from Audacy was distributed at approximately 5:30pm Eastern.

It offered little of what was in the internal memo distributed to Audacy employees, but confirmed that the staff of NYSE Regulation “has determined to commence proceedings to delist the Class A common stock of Audacy Inc. from the NYSE.

This means that trading in Audacy’s Class A common stock will be suspended immediately.

Audacy also confirmed that the determination is based on “abnormally low” price levels, pursuant to Section 802.01D of the Listed Company Manual.

Audacy plans to appeal the decision and move forward with the May 24 reverse stock split shareholder vote. “The company has a right to a review of this determination by a Committee of the Board of Directors of the Exchange,” a news release distributed via Business Wire reads.

Meanwhile, the NYSE will apply to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to delist the company’s Class A common stock upon completion of all applicable procedures — including any appeal by Audacy of the NYSE Regulation staff’s decision.

AUD has not been in compliance since June 28, 2022. NYSE rules require a minimum average closing price of $1.00 per share over 30 consecutive trading days.

Audacy could have regained compliance with the NYSE continued listing requirements at any time during a six-month cure period if, on the last trading day of any calendar month during the cure period, the common stock had a closing share price of at least $1.00 and an average closing share price of at least $1.00 over the 30 trading-day period ending on the last trading day of that month.

That did not transpire, but Audacy did have one opportunity remaining — the reverse stock split with shareholder approval at its upcoming annual meeting of stockholders.

The dip below 10 cents, however, led the NYSE to act ahead of that vote.





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