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The Largest U.S. Radio Operator Is Saddled With $20 Billion Debt

  • Broadcaster in talks over how to erase $1.4 billion of debt
  • Debt through 2018 would be cleared out in potential deal
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IHeartMedia's Pittman: Radio Outreaches TV in the U.S.

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IHeartMedia Inc., the radio broadcaster struggling under $20.6 billion of debt, is considering a potential bond or equity offering to pay off its most-pressing obligations and buy time to improve earnings, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

The company would sell securities in one of its units to retire $1.4 billion of bonds the parent is responsible for paying, said the person, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private. IHeart, which is discussing the plans with its private equity owners, would offer existing debtholders the option to exchange into new obligations from a subsidiary called Broader Media LLC, the person said. Creditors would receive higher-ranked claims on some of IHeart’s assets than they have now.