Debt Load Chafes Clear Channel

clear-channelClear Channel Communications went private last July after being purchased by THL Partners and Bain Capitol. In the process, the company’s debt load greatly increased. Last week CCC released a preliminary filing stating that its first quarter revenue had fallen 23% to $1.2 billion while at the same time its debt increased trifold to $21 billion. Complete results are scheduled to be unveiled on May 11.

In the meantime, Moody’s Investors Service cut its ratings for Clear Channel Communications by four levels, saying there was an increasingly high probability that CCC would breach its debt covenants. According to the New York Times, Regulatory filings earlier this week (4/20) show that CCC hopes “to exchange two classes of bonds which mature in 2016 by midnight on May 18. Through the exchange, investors would receive new bonds of the same value but they would be senior to existing and future notes.”

Unlike the original bonds, the newly offered version, registered under the Securities Act, could be sold and/or transferred. The bonds to be exchanged total $2.3 billion.

YTD Clear Channel Communications has reduced its work force by about 9%, eliminating 1,850 jobs.

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David M. Ross has been covering Nashville's music industry for over 25 years. [email protected]

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