Bankruptcy Court Officially Green-Lights Audacy Restructuring — Proposal Heads to FCC for Final Approval

Audacy bankruptcy
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Audacy bankruptcy
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Photo Credit: Audacy

A bankruptcy court has officially approved Audacy’s reorganization plan – seemingly setting the stage for Soros Fund Management to assume control of the radio conglomerate post-Chapter 11.

Philadelphia-based Audacy only recently announced that the Southern District of Texas’ bankruptcy court had signed off on its restructuring. As we previously reported, the company, having grappled with far-reaching operational hurdles last year, initiated prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings last month.

About one week ago, different reports yet indicated that George Soros’ aforementioned Soros Fund Management had purchased $400 million (some have placed the figure at $415 million) worth of the company’s debt.

That move, arriving months before the quick-approaching presidential election, could afford the Fund control of the radio and podcast business once its bankruptcy is in the rearview, according to reports.

Now, the court has authorized the proposal; the corresponding confirmation order covers all manner of pertinent topics across 91 detail-oriented pages.

The Audacy bankruptcy reorganization plan won’t “affect, modify, diminish, enhance, release or impair the auditing payments and distribution rights, defenses, and obligations of SoundExchange,” the text emphasizes. Moreover, the voluminous order drives home for good measure that the reorganized debtors of Audacy, which also operates in the digital-radio space, must cough up “all amounts due and owing SoundExchange…in the ordinary course of business.”

Regarding the process’s next steps, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) must approve the reorganization plan; assuming that the government agency green-lights the latter, Audacy, the owner of over 220 radio stations, will emerge from the Chapter 11 process.

All told, the Pineapple Street Studios parent says it will equitize about $1.6 billion in debt, leaving it with somewhere in the ballpark of $350 million in debt after the fact. Per radio trades including Insider Radio, among Audacy’s other sizable debtholders are Penn Entertainment investor HG Vora Capital Management, SI Capital Commercial Finance, and Prudential Financial’s PGIM.

In a statement, Audacy chairman, president, and CEO David Field emphasized the development’s perceived significance with regard to the “exciting future” of his business.

“As expected, we have achieved a speedy confirmation of our prepackaged Plan, which will enable Audacy to pursue our strategic goals and opportunities in the dynamic audio business,” Field communicated in part. “We aim to drive accelerated growth and financial performance, capitalizing on our scaled, leadership position, our uniquely differentiated premium audio content and the robust capital structure that we will have upon emergence.

“I also want to express my gratitude to our team, who continue their outstanding work to serve our listeners and customers with excellence and fulfill our commitments without missing a beat,” he concluded.