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iHeartMedia files for bankruptcy protection

The largest internet radio company in the US says it has enough cash to sustain itself during proceedings.

iHeartMedia, parent of iHeartRadio music radio, has filed for bankruptcy protection.
Getty Images

iHeartMedia, the largest internet radio broadcasting company in the US, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Thursday.

Operator of the iHeartRadio music streaming service, iHeartMedia has been saddled by massive debt since its leveraged buyout of billboard company Clear Channel Outdoor in 2008. The company said it had reached an agreement with debt holders to restructure more than $10 billion in debt, about half of its outstanding debt.

The news comes as other music-streaming services have been flexing their muscles. On Thursday, Spotify, which has 71 million paying members and accounts for 42 percent of the market, announced that it will start trading as a public company on April 3. On Monday, Apple exec Eddy Cue said that Apple Music has grown to 38 million subscribers.

It was just over a year ago that iHeartMedia launched its own paid music subscriptions to take on Spotify and Apple Music.

The company said Thursday it has enough cash to support its operations through Chapter 11 proceedings.

"The agreement we announced today is a significant accomplishment, as it allows us to definitively address the more than $20 billion in debt that has burdened our capital structure," iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman said in a statement.

The San Antonio-based company, formerly called Clear Channel, also operates 850 radio stations across the US and a popular concert business.

iHeartMedia's bankruptcy filing comes a few months after Cumulus, the operator of 445 stations, also filed for bankruptcy protection.

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