Cumulus Media is taking several steps to reduce its debt load, including selling off major market FMs. Its latest move won’t lower what it owes, but it will give the company more time to repay its lenders. Cumulus has made an offer to sell $300 million of senior secured first-lien notes due in 2026. The broadcaster plans to use proceeds from the offering to pay down some of the $1.1 billion of debt it currently carries on its balance sheet that is set to come due in May 2022. Cumulus isn’t registering the notes under the Securities Act. Instead they’ll be offered to qualified institutional buyers in a private offering.
Cumulus Media announced last week that it made a voluntary prepayment of $115 million on its first lien senior secured term loan, using net proceeds from the sale of six radio stations to Educational Media Foundation. In the year since emerging from bankruptcy, the radio company has reduced total outstanding debt by $200 million, it says. Additionally, net leverage has declined from about 5.8-times at emergence to approximately 4.8 times with this payment.
That disclosure could help entice some lenders unsure about the company’s prospects after spending months in Chapter 11 to embrace the debt offering. Cumulus says the offering is “subject to market conditions and other factors”—boilerplate language which takes on added meaning in its first return to the debt markets post-bankruptcy. The notes being put up by Cumulus will be secured by liens on almost all of the company’s assets, except for those already being used to secure the company’s $50 million revolver loan.
CEO Mary Berner has made paying down debt a top priority. Just over one year ago, the company emerged from bankruptcy, shedding more than $1 billion in debt in the process.