iHeartMedia Seeks to Increase its Foreign Ownership

iHeartMedia has filed a petition for declaratory ruling with the FCC to allow it to exceed the maximum foreign ownership limit of 25%

iHeart is seeking FCC approval for foreign investors to own up to 100% of its equity and voting interests, and specific approval for certain foreign investors that seek to directly or indirectly hold more than 10% of the company’s equity, and/or hold equity interests that will cause them to be deemed to hold more than 10% of iHeart’s voting rights.

In its filing, iHeart states that changes in its ownership structure that are an outgrowth of its bankruptcy reorganization from the issuing of new common stock and becoming publicly traded will potentially cause foreign approval for two foreign investment firms that will hold more than 5% of iHeart’s voting or 10% of iHeart’s equity interests.

The Ireland based PIMCO Group, which is controlled by the German based controlled by Allianz SE seeks to hold up to a 19.99% voting interest and a 32.99% equity interest in iHeart. The Bermuda based Invesco and affiliated entities up to a 19.99% voting and equity interest in iHeart after previously getting temporary approval form the FCC last summer to own 9.4% of iHeart’s Class A Common Stock.

iHeart argues grant of the Petition will serve public interest by “enabling iHeart to better compete in the already diverse and ever-expanding media marketplace, incentivizing foreign investment in broadcasting, and promoting U.S. trade policy by encouraging reciprocal investment opportunities for U.S. companies in foreign markets, while avoiding any risks to national security, law enforcement, or foreign or trade policy.”