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LIBERTY MEDIA SELLS iHEART STAKE

Liberty Media has sold its stake in iHeartMedia, according to an SEC filing, exiting the broadcast radio business. The 10/5 sale of roughly 6m shares at $25.25/share was worth $150m.

The John Malone-led company seized an opportunity represented by iHeart’s financial struggles, purchasing $600m worth of its debt in 2017 and 2018, which turned into roughly 7m shares following iHeart’s bankruptcy settlement. Liberty's departure follows the rebound of iHeart's stock after it fell below $5/share in March 2020. Up 66% YTD, it closed at $21.61 on 10/19.

Liberty has significant holdings in SiriusXM/Pandora (78%) and Live Nation (32%). The company had grouped its stakes in Sirius, Live Nation and iHeartMedia as Liberty SiriusXM Group (LSXMA), a tracking stock on Nasdaq. Despite the sale of iHeart, Liberty maintains tremendous influence in digital audio and the live sector, with north of 30m SiriusXM subscribers, more than 50m monthly Pandora listeners and 62m+ concertgoers as of 2019 (the last full year unaffected by the pandemic).

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