IPO Nixed For iHeart As Grand Return To Nasdaq Is Set


Mark July 18 on your calendar for a somewhat monumental day in the history of a company once called Clear Channel Communications.

That’s when iHeartMedia‘s Class A common stock will return to trading on Nasdaq, making its exit from debtor-in-possession status complete.

“This is an exciting time for our company and an important step in the evolution of iHeartMedia,” said iHeartMedia Chairman/CEO Bob Pittman. “Our listing on the NASDAQ will provide greater liquidity for existing shareholders, allow us to diversify our investor base, and give us improved access to public capital markets in the future.”

At present, the “old” iHeart has a stub of publicly traded stock on the highly risky OTC Pink market — a home for companies that have the most volatility in their finances, making an investment questionable to some and a “no” to others.

In three weeks, that will replace “IHTM” on the OTC Pink, with listing on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. Upon listing, iHeartMedia’s Class A common stock will trade under the ticker “IHRT.”

In a way, iHeart shares began their new incarnation on May 1.

That’s when the Chapter 11-reflective “IHRTQ” saw its final trading session before taking the temporary “IHTM” symbol on May 7, with a debut price of $18.

As of 11:35am Eastern, “IHTM” was trading at $15.25, on light volume.

News of a post-bankruptcy Initial Public Offering of stock and shift to Nasdaq first arrived on April 3.

That’s when iHeart made Form S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in which it said it would issue new Class A and Class B shares — and little else.

“We intend to use the net proceeds from this offering to repay indebtedness,” the company said in the filing, which was amended May 10.

Now, plans for an IPO are off the table, as iHeart on Friday has asked for the withdrawal of the Form S-1.

Speaking on background, an iHeartMedia executive explained to RBR+TVBR, “We announced in March that we were exploring options for our listing on a major exchange — a listing and an IPO.”

The spokesperson noted that the listing is similar to a direct listing done by Slack. However, as iHeart was already on the OTC Pink market, it is already referred to as a listing.

“We filed an S-1 in the context of exploring the IPO option, and after evaluating both options decided that a listing was the best way to deliver value to our shareholders,” the iHeart representative said.

This led to the decision on Friday (6/28) to withdraw the S-1 filing with the SEC.

iHeartMedia’s management team will meet with investors the week of July 15 in advance of the July 18 listing date.

The withdrawal of the Form S-1 comes following the recent arrival of Kareem Chin as SVP/Head of Investor Relations for iHeartMedia. Chin will be based in New York and will report to CFO and President/COO Rich Bressler.