A Hart-Scott-Rodino filing made by Liberty Media to allow it to convert its iHeartMedia Class B shares into voting shares and to acquire more has received the blessing of Department of Justice officials.
RBR+TVBR independently confirmed the DOJ’s affirmative nod, first reported late Wednesday by Politico.
It brings Liberty Media, the 71% owner of SiriusXM Satellite Radio and, soon, podcast entity Stitcher, one step closer to a majority stake in the nation’s No. 1 owner of radio stations and perhaps the top local audio media company in the U.S. by name recognition. Pandora is also wholly owned by SiriusXM, and 1/3 ownership in LiveNation is held by Liberty Media, led by John Malone.
At present, Liberty’s Liberty Sirius Group has a 4.8% stake in the iHeartMedia that was reconstituted following its Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.
Investors cheered the news regarding the HSR filing’s OK from DOJ. At Thursday’s Closing Bell, IHRT sat at $8.34, up 15.8% from Wednesday. This puts iHeart shares at their highest value since June 30, but IHRT shares remain far below their pre-COVID average of near $18 per share. Since March 1, IHRT shares have topped out at $11.60, seen in early June.