George Soros set to seize control of Audacy’s 220 radio stations ahead of election

15.02.2024
Lesedauer: 3 Minuten
George Soros (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)

Far-left billionaire George Soros is set to seize control of Audacy’s 220 United States radio stations ahead of the 2024 presidential election, the New York Post reported.

Soros Fund Management, the hedge fund manager’s investment management company, has purchased $400 million of the radio platform’s debt.

Audacy, formerly Radio.com, is the second-largest radio broadcaster behind iHeartMedia. Last month, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced that it had reached a prepackaged restructuring support agreement with a supermajority of its debtholders. According to an Audacy news release, the plan will allow it to reduce its total debt from $1.9 billion to $350 million.

The company’s restructuring plan, which requires approval, is scheduled to be reviewed by United States Judge Christopher Lopez on February 20.

David J. Field, chairman, president, and CEO of Audacy, stated, “Over the past few years, we have strategically transformed Audacy into a leading, scaled multi-platform audio content and entertainment company through our acquisition of CBS Radio and by building leading complementary positions in podcasting, audio networks, live events, digital marketing solutions, and our direct-to-consumer streaming platform.”

“While our transformation has enhanced our competitive position, the perfect storm of sustained macroeconomic challenges over the past four years facing the traditional advertising market has led to a sharp reduction of several billion dollars in cumulative radio ad spending,” Field continued. “These market factors have severely impacted our financial condition and necessitated our balance sheet restructuring. With our scaled leadership position, our uniquely differentiated premium audio content, and a robust capital structure, we believe Audacy will emerge well positioned to continue its innovation and growth in the dynamic audio business.”

Sources told the Post that Soros’ stake in the company — which he picked up over the past few weeks for 50 cents on the dollar — is equal to approximately 40% of its senior debt.

Audacy has since confirmed Soros’ investment.

“The decision by our existing and new debtholders to become equity holders in Audacy represents a significant vote of confidence in our company and the future of the radio and audio business,” the company stated.

Last year, Vice Media was sold to lenders, including Soros Fund Management, Fortress Investment Group, and Monroe Capital, after the company filed for Chapter 11.

One source told the Post he is concerned that Soros’ acquisition of Audacy will be used to influence public opinion leading up to the 2024 presidential election. The source, who stated he was a Republican, said, “This is scary.”

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