The Federal Reserve has been cutting interest rates and that’s presenting Cumulus Media with another opportunity to improve its balance sheet. The company is refinancing a big chunk of its debt at a lower interest rate. Cumulus said Thursday that it has taken out a new $525 million senior secured term due in March 2026 carrying nearly a point less in interest costs.
The company plans to use the proceeds from the newly issued notes, along with cash on hand, to pay off its existing term loan.
Cumulus emerged from Chapter 11 June 4, 2018, shedding more than $1 billion in debt. That involved cancelling its old credit agreement with JPMorgan Chase and other lenders in favor of a new $1.3 billion senior secured term loan credit facility from Wilmington Trust, due in May 2022 at an interest rate of LIBOR plus 4.5%. The new loan’s interest is the LIBOR benchmark rate plus 3.75%, albeit with a 1% LIBOR floor. A willingness to shed assets in order to pay down debt also likely helped to secure the company more favorable terms with lenders. When the new term loan closes next week, Cumulus says it will have fully refinanced that $1.3 billion term loan. Along with the lower interest rate, the move also pushes out the date the loan is due by almost four years.
With the latest refinance, Cumulus’s debt will consist of the $525 million new term loan and $500 million of secured bonds issued in June 2019.
The combination of the new refi and pruning its station portfolio means the company will have trimmed $275 million in total debt since emergence. CEO Mary Berner’s portfolio optimization plan to sell non-core assets made her company a motivated seller during the past 12 months. In a series of seven deals, including some blockbusters, it divested 20 stations and three translators for $185 million from January through July of this year, using the proceeds to pay down debt.