In a statement the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said, it has approved a petition which allows foreign investors to exceed the current 25% foreign investment cap in iHeartMedia Inc.
In 2018, the company had filed for bankruptcy and in the following year it had gone public. In 2019 it had sought approval for foreign creditors to exercise special warrants in exchange for stock in the company.
The San Antonio, Texas-based company had struggled with debt that was taken on by its private equity owners in 2008 to finance a $17.9 billion leveraged buyout of Clear Channel Communications Inc.
The FCC said the petition will “enable iHeart to be in a stronger financial condition post-bankruptcy and provide the company greater flexibility to access foreign investment capital, thereby allowing iHeart to better compete with other media companies, enhance its programming, and better serve the public interest.”
The company owns around 850 U.S. radio stations across 160 markets and its iHeartRadio digital service is available on more than 250 platforms and 2,000 devices.
PIMCO Group had sought approval to hold up to 32.99% of the equity interest in iHeart.
PIMCO group is controlled by Allianz SE.
The FCC said iHeart must obtain commission approval for any new or additional foreign entities to hold, directly or indirectly, more than 5% of the equity.