Audacy — the parent company of WFAN, WCBS and other local radio stations — is pulling out all the stops as it fights to stave off financial ruin.
Audacy has been facing a potential delisting of its stock on the New York Stock Exchange, and the company has devised a plan to return its price to a compliant status with the exchange.
In a regulatory filing, Audacy shared it intends to implement a reverse stock split after its shareholder’s meeting on Wednesday, May 24th.
The NYSE requires companies to have an average closing price of $1 for 30 consecutive trading days to remain listed. Audacy has not traded at that level since July, has blown through grace periods and closed at 12 cents on Tuesday. Not what you want. So Audacy will try to roll shares into each other, get to back to the $1 threshold and pray it sticks. Emphasis on the pray. More from BNM:
“While price of our common stock might meet the continued listing requirements for the NYSE initially, it cannot be assured that it will continue to do so,” Audacy admitted in the filing.
Audacy also claimed that implementing a reverse stock split could potentially make it more difficult for investors to buy and sell their shares.
A reverse stock split could also be a risky endeavor. Should Audacy’s market cap fall below $15 million during 30 consecutive days of trading, the NYSE could still delist the company. With the move, there would be “no guarantee that we will be in compliance with these financial criteria requirements in future periods.”
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Audacy adamantly denied an August report it was headed for bankruptcy. But a recent Philadelphia Business Journal report quoted an analyst who believes that remains very much on the table. The company recently had another round of layoffs nationally.
WFAN is a behemoth, so it has gotten through the cuts relatively unscathed by all accounts. But if this maneuver does not work, Audacy may have to start getting truly desperate.
James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.