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EXCEL - IDEA: XBRL DOCUMENT - Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc.Financial_Report.xls
EX-23 - CONSENT OF ERNST & YOUNG LLP - Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc.Exhibit23.htm
EX-11 - STATEMENT RE: COMPUTATION OF LOSS PER SHARE - Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc.Exhibit11.htm
EX-21 - SUBSIDIARIES - Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc.Exhibit21.htm
EX-32 - CERTIFICATION OF CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER PURSUANT TO SECTION 906 - Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc.Exhibit32.1.htm
EX-31 - CERTIFICATION OF CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER PURSUANT TO SECTION 302 - Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc.Exhibit31.2.htm
EX-32 - CERTIFICATION OF CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER PURSUANT TO SECTION 906 - Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc.Exhibit32.2.htm
EX-31 - CERTIFICATION OF CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER PURSUANT TO SECTION 302 - Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc.Exhibit31.1.htm

 

 

  

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

[X]          Annual report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

                For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014, or

[  ]           Transition report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

                For the transition period from ________ to _________.

 

Commission File Number 1-32663

 

CLEAR CHANNEL OUTDOOR HOLDINGS, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Delaware

86-0812139

(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

 

200 East Basse Road

San Antonio, Texas

78209

(Address of principal executive offices)

(Zip code)

 

(210) 832-3700

 (Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of Each Class

Name of Exchange on Which Registered

Class A Common Stock, $.01 par value per share

New York Stock Exchange

  

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:  None

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.  YES [  ]  NO  [X]

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act.  YES [ ]  NO [X]

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. YES [X] NO [ ]

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).YES [X] NO [  ]

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  [X]

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company.  See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.  Large accelerated filer [  ] Accelerated filer [X] Non-accelerated filer [] Smaller reporting company [  ]

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Exchange Act Rule 12b-2).  YES [  ] NO [X]

As of June 30, 2014, the aggregate market value of the common stock beneficially held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $344.7 million based on the closing sales price of the Class A common stock as reported on the New York Stock Exchange.

 

On February 11, 2015, there were 45,224,681 outstanding shares of Class A common stock (excluding 229,943 shares held in treasury) and 315,000,000 outstanding shares of Class B common stock.

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of our Definitive Proxy Statement for the 2015 Annual Meeting, expected to be filed within 120 days of our fiscal year end, are incorporated by reference into Part III.

 


 

CLEAR CHANNEL OUTDOOR HOLDINGS, INC.

INDEX TO FORM 10-K

Page

Number

PART I

 

Item 1.         Business....................................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

 

Item 1A.      Risk Factors................................................................................................................................................................................................ 9

 

Item 1B.      Unresolved Staff Comments................................................................................................................................................................. 20

 

Item 2.         Properties................................................................................................................................................................................................... 20

 

Item 3.         Legal Proceedings.................................................................................................................................................................................... 21

 

Item 4.         Mine Safety Disclosures......................................................................................................................................................................... 21

 

PART II

 

Item 5.         Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases  

                       of Equity Securities................................................................................................................................................................................. 23

 

Item 6.         Selected Financial Data.......................................................................................................................................................................... 25

 

Item 7.         Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations................................................... 27

 

Item 7A.      Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk ....................................................................................................... 52

 

Item 8.         Financial Statements and Supplementary Data ............................................................................................................................... 53

 

Item 9.         Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure.................................................... 98

 

Item 9A.      Controls and Procedures........................................................................................................................................................................ 98

 

Item 9B.      Other Information................................................................................................................................................................................. 100

 

PART III

 

Item 10.       Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance............................................................................................................ 101

 

Item 11.       Executive Compensation.................................................................................................................................................................... 102

 

Item 12.       Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related  

                       Stockholder Matters............................................................................................................................................................................. 103

 

Item 13.       Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence......................................................................... 104

 

Item 14.       Principal Accounting Fees and Services............................................................................................................................................ 105

 

PART IV

 

Item 15.       Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules................................................................................................................................... 106

 

 


 

PART I

ITEM 1.  Business

The Company

Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. (“the Company”), a Delaware corporation, provides clients with advertising opportunities through billboards, street furniture displays, transit displays and other out-of-home advertising displays, such as wallscapes, and spectaculars, which we own or operate in key markets worldwide.  Our business consists of two reportable operating segments:  Americas and International.  As of December 31, 2014, we owned or operated more than 640,000 advertising displays worldwide.  For the year ended December 31, 2014, we generated consolidated revenue of approximately $3.0 billion, with $1.3 billion and $1.7 billion from our Americas and International segments, respectively.

 

Our History

We were incorporated in August 1995 under the name “Eller Media Company.”  In 1997, Clear Channel Communications, Inc. (“Clear Channel Communications”) now iHeartCommunications, Inc. (“iHeartCommunications”), our parent company, entered the outdoor advertising industry with its acquisition of Eller Media Company.  We changed our name to Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. in August 2005.

 

On November 11, 2005, we became a publicly traded company through an initial public offering, or IPO, in which we sold 10%, or 35.0 million shares, of our Class A common stock.  Prior to our IPO, we were an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of iHeartCommunications.  As of December 31, 2014, iHeartCommunications owned all of our outstanding shares of Class B common stock and 6,553,971 shares of our Class A common stock, collectively representing approximately 89% of the outstanding shares of our common stock and approximately 99% of the total voting power of our common stock.

 

Prior to or at the time of our IPO, we entered into agreements with iHeartCommunications that govern the relationship between iHeartCommunications and us and provide for, among other things, the provision of services by iHeartCommunications to us and the allocation of employee benefit, tax and other liabilities and obligations attributable to our operations.  These agreements include the Master Agreement, Corporate Services Agreement, Employee Matters Agreement and Tax Matters Agreement.  All of the agreements relating to our ongoing relationship with iHeartCommunications were made in the context of a parent-subsidiary relationship and the terms of these agreements may be more or less favorable to us than if they had been negotiated with unaffiliated third parties.

 

iHeartCommunications has the right to terminate these agreements in various circumstances.  As of the date of the filing of this report, no notice of termination of any of these agreements has been received from iHeartCommunications.

 

As long as iHeartCommunications continues to own shares of our common stock representing more than 50% of the total voting power of our common stock, it will have the ability to direct the election of all members of our Board of Directors and, therefore, to exercise a controlling influence over our business and affairs, including any determinations with respect to mergers or other business combinations, our acquisition or disposition of assets, our incurrence of indebtedness, our issuance of any additional common stock or other equity securities, our repurchase or redemption of common stock or any preferred stock, if applicable, and our payment of dividends.  Similarly, iHeartCommunications will have the power to determine the outcome of matters submitted to a vote of our stockholders, including the power to prevent an acquisition or any other change in control, and to take other actions that might be favorable to iHeartCommunications.

 

On July 30, 2008, iHeartCommunications completed its merger with a subsidiary of CC Media Holdings, Inc. (“CC Media Holdings”) now iHeartMedia, Inc. (“iHeartMedia”), a company formed by a group of private equity funds sponsored by Bain Capital Partners, LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P.  iHeartCommunications is now owned indirectly by iHeartMedia.

 

You can find more information about us at our Internet website located at www.clearchanneloutdoor.com.  Our Annual Report on Form 10-K, our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, our Current Reports on Form 8-K and any amendments to those reports are available free of charge through our Internet website as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish such material to, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).  The contents of our website are not deemed to be part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K or any of our other filings with the SEC.

 

Our corporate headquarters are in San Antonio, Texas and we have executive offices in New York, New York. Our headquarters are located at 200 East Basse Road, San Antonio, Texas 78209 (telephone: 210-832-2828).

 

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Our Business Segments

We have two reportable business segments, Americas outdoor advertising (“Americas”) and International outdoor advertising (“International”), which represented 42% and 58% of our 2014 revenue, respectively.

 

We are a leading global outdoor advertising company providing clients with advertising opportunities through billboards, street furniture displays, transit displays and other out-of-home advertising displays. Through our extensive display inventory, we have the ability to deliver innovative, effective marketing campaigns for advertisers and marketing, creative and strategic partners in communities across the Americas and internationally.

 

We focus on building the leadership position of our diverse global assets and maximizing our financial performance while serving our local communities.  We intend to continue to execute upon our long-standing outdoor advertising strategies, while closely managing expenses and focusing on achieving operating efficiencies throughout our businesses.  Part of our long-term strategy is to pursue the technology of digital displays, including flat screens, LCDs and LEDs, as additions to traditional methods of displaying our clients’ advertisements.  We are currently installing these technologies in certain markets, both domestically and internationally.

 

For more information about our revenue, gross profit and assets by segment and our revenue and long-lived assets by geographic area, see Note 13 to our Consolidated Financial Statements located in Item 8 of Part II of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

Americas Outdoor Advertising

We are one of the largest outdoor advertising companies in North America (based on revenues), which includes the United States and Canada.  Approximately 95% of our revenue in our Americas segment was derived from the United States in each of the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012.  We own or operate approximately 103,000 display structures in our Americas segment with operations in 45 of the 50 largest markets in the United States, including all of the 20 largest markets.

 

Our Americas assets consist of traditional and digital billboards, street furniture and transit displays, airport displays, and wallscapes and other spectaculars, which we own or operate under lease management agreements. Our Americas business is focused on metropolitan areas with dense populations.

 

Strategy

We seek to capitalize on our Americas network and diversified product mix to maximize revenue. In addition, by sharing best practices among our business segments, we believe we can quickly and effectively replicate our successes in our other markets.  Our strategy focuses on leveraging our diversified product mix and long-standing presence in many of our existing markets, which provides us with the ability to launch new products and test new initiatives in a reliable and cost-effective manner.

 

Promote Outdoor Media Spending.  Given the attractive industry fundamentals of outdoor media and our depth and breadth of relationships with both local and national advertisers, we believe we can drive outdoor advertising's share of total media spending by using our dedicated national sales team to highlight the value of outdoor advertising relative to other media.  Outdoor advertising only represented 4% of total dollars spent on advertising in the United States in 2014. We have made and continue to make significant investments in research tools that enable our clients to better understand how our displays can successfully reach their target audiences and promote their advertising campaigns. Also, we are working closely with clients, advertising agencies and other diversified media companies to develop more sophisticated systems that will provide improved audience metrics for outdoor advertising.  For example, we have implemented the TAB Out of Home Ratings audience measurement system which: (1) separately reports audiences for billboards, posters, junior posters, transit shelters and phone kiosks, (2) reports for geographically sensitive reach and frequency, (3) provides granular detail, reporting individual out of home units in over 200 designated market areas, (4) provides detailed demographic data comparable to other media, and (5) provides true commercial ratings based on people who see the advertising.

 

Continue to Deploy Digital Displays.  Digital outdoor advertising provides significant advantages over traditional outdoor media. Our electronic displays are linked through centralized computer systems to instantaneously and simultaneously change advertising copy on a large number of displays, allowing us to sell more advertising opportunities to advertisers. The ability to change copy by time of day and quickly change messaging based on advertisers’ needs creates additional flexibility for our customers. Although digital displays require more capital to construct compared to traditional bulletins, the advantages of digital allow us to penetrate new accounts and categories of advertisers, as well as serve a broader set of needs for existing advertisers. Digital displays allow for high-frequency, 24-hour advertising changes in high-traffic locations and allow us to offer our clients optimal flexibility, distribution, circulation and visibility. We expect this trend to continue as we increase our quantity of digital inventory. As of December 31, 2014, we have deployed more than 1,100 digital billboards in 37 markets in the United States.

 

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Sources of Revenue

Americas generated 42%, 44% and 43% of our revenue in 2014, 2013 and 2012, respectively.  Americas revenue is derived from the sale of advertising copy placed on our traditional and digital displays.  Our display inventory consists primarily of billboards, street furniture displays and transit displays.  The margins on our billboard contracts, including those related to digital billboards, tend to be higher than those on contracts for other displays, due to their greater size, impact and location along major roadways that are highly trafficked.  Billboards comprise approximately two-thirds of our display revenues.  The following table shows the approximate percentage of revenue derived from each category for our Americas inventory:

 

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

 

 

2014

 

2013

 

2012

 

 

Billboards:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bulletins

58%

 

57%

 

56%

 

 

 

Posters

13%

 

13%

 

13%

 

 

Street furniture displays

4%

 

4%

 

4%

 

 

Transit displays

17%

 

17%

 

17%

 

 

Other displays (1)

8%

 

9%

 

10%

 

 

Total

100%

 

100%

 

100%

 

 

(1)       Includes spectaculars and wallscapes.

 

Our Americas segment generates revenues from local and national sales.  Our advertising rates are based on a number of different factors including location, competition, size of display, illumination, market and gross ratings points.  Gross ratings points are the total number of impressions delivered, expressed as a percentage of a market population, of a display or group of displays.  The number of impressions delivered by a display is measured by the number of people passing the site during a defined period of time.  For all of our billboards in the United States, we use independent, third-party auditing companies to verify the number of impressions delivered by a display.  “Reach” is the percent of a target audience exposed to an advertising message at least once during a specified period of time, typically during a period of four weeks.  “Frequency” is the average number of exposures an individual has to an advertising message during a specified period of time.  Out-of-home frequency is typically measured over a four-week period.

 

While location, price and availability of displays are important competitive factors, we believe that providing quality customer service and establishing strong client relationships are also critical components of sales.  In addition, we have long-standing relationships with a diversified group of advertising brands and agencies that allow us to diversify client accounts and establish continuing revenue streams.

 

Billboards

Our billboard inventory primarily includes bulletins and posters.

 

·         Bulletins.   Bulletins vary in size, with the most common size being 14 feet high by 48 feet wide.  Digital bulletins display static messages that resemble standard printed bulletins when viewed, but also allow advertisers to change messages throughout the course of a day, and may display advertisements for multiple customers.  Our electronic displays are linked through centralized computer systems to instantaneously and simultaneously change advertising copy as needed.  Because of their greater size, impact, high-frequency and 24-hour advertising changes, we typically receive our highest rates for digital bulletins.  Almost all of the advertising copy displayed on traditional bulletins is computer printed on vinyl and transported to the bulletin where it is secured to the display surface.  Bulletins generally are located along major expressways, primary commuting routes and main intersections that are highly visible and heavily trafficked.  Our clients may contract for individual bulletins or a network of bulletins, meaning the clients’ advertisements are rotated among bulletins to increase the reach of the campaign.  Our client contracts for bulletins, either traditional or digital, generally have terms ranging from four weeks to one year.

·         Posters.   Digital posters are available in addition to the traditional poster-size and junior poster-size.  Similar to digital bulletins, digital posters display static messages that resemble standard printed posters when viewed, and are linked through centralized computer systems to instantaneously and simultaneously change messages throughout the course of a day.  Traditional posters are approximately 11 feet high by 23 feet wide, and the traditional junior posters are approximately 5 feet high by 11 feet wide.  Advertising copy for traditional posters is digitally printed on a single piece of polyethylene material that is then transported and secured to the poster surfaces.  Advertising copy for traditional

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junior posters is printed using silk screen, lithographic or digital process to transfer the designs onto paper that is then transported and secured to the poster surfaces.  Posters generally are located in commercial areas on primary and secondary routes near point-of-purchase locations, facilitating advertising campaigns with greater demographic targeting than those displayed on bulletins.  Our poster rates typically are less than our bulletin rates, and our client contracts for posters generally have terms ranging from four weeks to one year.  Premiere displays, which consist of premiere panels and squares, are innovative hybrids between bulletins and posters that we developed to provide our clients with an alternative for their targeted marketing campaigns.  The premiere displays use one or more poster panels, but with vinyl advertising stretched over the panels similar to bulletins.  Our intent is to combine the creative impact of bulletins with the additional reach and frequency of posters.

 

Street Furniture Displays

Our street furniture displays include advertising surfaces on bus shelters, information kiosks, freestanding units and other public structures, are available in both traditional and digital formats, and are primarily located in major metropolitan areas and along major commuting routes.  Generally, we own the street furniture structures and are responsible for their construction and maintenance.  Contracts for the right to place our street furniture displays in the public domain and sell advertising space on them are awarded by municipal and transit authorities in competitive bidding processes governed by local law.  Generally, these contracts have terms ranging from 10 to 20 years.  As compensation for the right to sell advertising space on our street furniture structures, we pay the municipality or transit authority a fee or revenue share that is either a fixed amount or a percentage of the revenue derived from the street furniture displays.  Typically, these revenue sharing arrangements include payments by us of minimum guaranteed amounts.  Client contracts for street furniture displays typically have terms ranging from four weeks to one year, and are typically for network packages of multiple street furniture displays.

 

Transit Displays

Our transit displays are advertising surfaces on various types of vehicles or within transit systems, including on the interior and exterior sides of buses, trains, trams, and within the common areas of rail stations and airports, and are available in both traditional and digital formats.  Similar to street furniture, contracts for the right to place our displays on such vehicles or within such transit systems and to sell advertising space on them generally are awarded by public transit authorities in competitive bidding processes or are negotiated with private transit operators.  Generally, these contracts have terms ranging up from five to ten years.  Our client contracts for transit displays generally have terms ranging from four weeks to one year.

 

Other Displays

The balance of our display inventory consists of spectaculars and wallscapes.  Spectaculars are customized display structures that often incorporate video, multidimensional lettering and figures, mechanical devices and moving parts and other embellishments to create special effects.  The majority of our spectaculars are located in Times Square in New York City, the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto, and the Fashion Show Mall and Miracle Mile Shops in Las Vegas.  Client contracts for spectaculars typically have terms of one year or longer.  A wallscape is a display that drapes over or is suspended from the sides of buildings or other structures.  Generally, wallscapes are located in high-profile areas where other types of outdoor advertising displays are limited or unavailable.  Clients typically contract for individual wallscapes for extended terms. 

 

Advertising Inventory and Markets

As of December 31, 2014, we owned or operated approximately 103,000 display structures in our Americas segment with operations in 45 of the 50 largest markets in the United States, including all of the 20 largest markets.  Therefore, no one property is material to our overall operations.  We believe that our properties are in good condition and suitable for our operations.

 

Our displays are located on owned land, leased land or land for which we have acquired permanent easements.  The majority of the advertising structures on which our displays are mounted require permits.  Permits are granted for the right to operate an advertising structure as long as the structure is used in compliance with the laws and regulations of the applicable jurisdiction.

 

Production

In a majority of our markets, our local production staff performs the full range of activities required to create and install advertising copy.  Production work includes creating the advertising copy design and layout, coordinating its printing and installing the copy on displays.  We provide creative services to smaller advertisers and to advertisers not represented by advertising agencies.  National advertisers often use preprinted designs that require only installation.  Our creative and production personnel typically develop new designs or adopt copy from other media for use on our inventory.  Our creative staff also can assist in the development of marketing presentations, demonstrations and strategies to attract new clients.

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Construction and Operation

We typically own the physical structures on which our clients’ advertising copy is displayed.  We build some of the structures at our billboard fabrication business in Illinois and erect them on sites we either lease or own or for which we have acquired permanent easements.  The site lease terms generally range from one to 20 years.  In addition to the site lease, we must obtain a permit to build the sign.  Permits are typically issued in perpetuity by the state or local government and typically are transferable or renewable for a minimal, or no, fee.  Traditional bulletin and poster advertising copy is either printed with computer generated graphics on a single sheet of vinyl or placed on lithographed or silk-screened paper sheets supplied by the advertiser.  These advertisements are then transported to the site and in the case of vinyl, wrapped around the face of the site, and in the case of paper, pasted and applied like wallpaper to the site.  The operational process also includes conducting visual inspections of the inventory for display defects and taking the necessary corrective action within a reasonable period of time.

 

Client Categories

In 2014, the top five client categories in our Americas segment were retail, business services, media, healthcare and medical, and restaurants.

 

Competition

The outdoor advertising industry in the Americas segment market is fragmented, consisting of several large companies involved in outdoor advertising, such as OUTFRONT Media Inc. and Lamar Advertising Company, as well as  numerous smaller and local companies operating a limited number of displays in a single market or a few local markets.  We also compete with other advertising media in our respective markets, including broadcast and cable television, radio, print media, direct mail, online and other forms of advertisement. Outdoor advertising companies compete primarily based on ability to reach consumers, which is driven by location of the display.

 

International Outdoor Advertising

Our International segment includes our operations in Asia, Australia, Europe and Latin America, with approximately 33% of our revenue in this segment derived from France and the United Kingdom for the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012.  As of December 31, 2014, we owned or operated more than 540,000 displays across 26 countries.

 

Our International assets consist of street furniture and transit displays, billboards, mall displays, Smartbike programs, wallscapes and other spectaculars, which we own or operate under lease agreements.  Our International business is focused on metropolitan areas with dense populations.

 

Strategy

Similar to our Americas business, we believe our International business has attractive industry fundamentals including a broad audience reach and a highly cost effective media for advertisers as measured by cost per thousand persons reached compared to other traditional media.  Our International business focuses on the following strategies:

 

Promote Overall Outdoor Media Spending.  Our strategy is to promote growth in outdoor advertising’s share of total media spending by leveraging our international scale and local reach.  We are focusing on developing and implementing better and improved outdoor audience delivery measurement systems to provide advertisers with tools to determine how effectively their message is reaching the desired audience.

 

Capitalize on Product and Geographic Opportunities.  We are also focused on growing our business internationally by working closely with our advertising customers and agencies in meeting their needs, and through new product offerings, optimization of our current display portfolio and selective investments targeting promising growth markets. We have continued to innovate and introduce new products in international markets based on local demands. Our core business is our street furniture business and that is where we plan to focus much of our investment. We plan to continue to evaluate municipal contracts that may come up for bid and will make prudent investments where we believe we can receive attractive returns.  We will also continue to invest in markets such as China and Latin America where we believe there is high growth potential.

 

Continue to Deploy Digital Display Networks.  Internationally, digital out-of-home displays are a dynamic medium which enables our customers to engage in real-time, tactical, topical and flexible advertising.  We will continue our focused and dedicated digital strategy as we remain committed to the digital development of out-of-home communication solutions internationally.  Through our international digital brand, Clear Channel Play, we are able to offer networks of digital displays in multiple formats and multiple environments including bus shelters, airports, transit, malls and flagship locations.  We seek to achieve greater consumer engagement

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and flexibility by delivering powerful, flexible and interactive campaigns that open up new possibilities for advertisers to engage with their target audiences.  We had more than 4,700 digital displays in 20 countries across Europe, Asia and Latin America as of December 31, 2014.

 

Sources of Revenue

Our International segment generated 58%, 56% and 57% of our revenue in 2014, 2013 and 2012, respectively.  International outdoor advertising revenue is derived from the sale of traditional advertising copy placed on our display inventory and electronic displays which are part of our network of digital displays.  Our International display inventory consists primarily of street furniture displays, billboards, transit displays and other out-of-home advertising displays. The following table shows the approximate percentage of revenue derived from each inventory category of our International segment:

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2014

 

2013

 

2012

 

 

Street furniture displays

49%

 

48%

 

46%

 

 

Billboards

22%

 

23%

 

26%

 

 

Transit displays

9%

 

9%

 

8%

 

 

Other (1)

20%

 

20%

 

20%

 

 

Total

100%

 

100%

 

100%

 

 

(1)     Includes advertising revenue from mall displays, other small displays, and non-advertising revenue from sales of street furniture equipment, cleaning and maintenance services, operation of Smartbike programs and production revenue.

  

 

Our International segment generates revenues worldwide from local, regional and national sales. Similar to our Americas business, advertising rates generally are based on the gross ratings points of a display or group of displays. The number of impressions delivered by a display, in some countries, is weighted to account for such factors as illumination, proximity to other displays and the speed and viewing angle of approaching traffic.

 

While location, price and availability of displays are important competitive factors, we believe that providing quality customer service and establishing strong client relationships are also critical components of sales.  Our entrepreneurial culture allows local management to operate their markets as separate profit centers, encouraging customer cultivation and service.

 

Street Furniture Displays

Our International street furniture displays, available in traditional and digital formats, are substantially similar to their Americas street furniture counterparts, and include bus shelters, freestanding units, various types of kiosks, benches and other public structures.  Internationally, contracts with municipal and transit authorities for the right to place our street furniture in the public domain and sell advertising on such street furniture typically provide for terms ranging from 10 to 15 years. The major difference between our International and Americas street furniture businesses is in the nature of the municipal contracts.  In our International outdoor business, these contracts typically require us to provide the municipality with a broader range of metropolitan amenities such as bus shelters with or without advertising panels, information kiosks and public wastebaskets, as well as space for the municipality to display maps or other public information.  In exchange for providing such metropolitan amenities and display space, we are authorized to sell advertising space on certain sections of the structures we erect in the public domain.  Our International street furniture is typically sold to clients as network packages of multiple street furniture displays, with contract terms ranging from one to two weeks.  Client contracts are also available with terms of up to one year.

 

Billboards

The sizes of our International billboards are not standardized.  The billboards vary in both format and size across our networks, with the majority of our International billboards being similar in size to our posters used in our Americas business.  Our International billboards are sold to clients as network packages with contract terms typically ranging from one to two weeks.  Long-term client contracts are also available and typically have terms of up to one year.  We lease the majority of our billboard sites from private landowners.  Billboards include posters and are available in traditional and digital formats.

 

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Transit Displays

Our International transit display contracts are substantially similar to their Americas transit display counterparts, and typically require us to make only a minimal initial investment and few ongoing maintenance expenditures.  Contracts with public transit authorities or private transit operators typically have terms ranging from three to seven years.  Our client contracts for transit displays, either traditional or digital, generally have terms ranging from one week to one year, or longer.

 

Other International Displays and Services

The balance of our revenue from our International segment consists primarily of advertising revenue from mall displays, other small displays and non-advertising revenue from sales of street furniture equipment, cleaning and maintenance services and production revenue.  Internationally, our contracts with mall operators generally have terms ranging from five to ten years and client contracts for mall displays generally have terms ranging from one to two weeks, but are available for periods up to six months.  Our International inventory includes other small displays that are counted as separate displays since they form a substantial part of our network and International outdoor advertising revenue.  We also have a Smartbike bicycle rental program which provides bicycles for rent to the general public in several municipalities.  In exchange for providing the bike rental program, we generally derive revenue from advertising rights to the bikes, bike stations, additional street furniture displays, or fees from the local municipalities.  In several of our International markets, we sell equipment or provide cleaning and maintenance services as part of a billboard or street furniture contract with a municipality.

 

Advertising Inventory and Markets

As of December 31, 2014, we owned or operated more than 540,000 displays in our International segment, with operations across 26 countries.  Our International display count includes display faces, which may include multiple faces on a single structure, as well as small, individual displays.  As a result, our International display count is not comparable to our Americas display count, which includes only unique displays.  No one property is material to our overall operations.  We believe that our properties are in good condition and suitable for our operations.

 

Production

The majority of our International clients are advertisers targeting national audiences whose business generally is placed with us through advertising agencies.  These agencies often provide our International clients creative services to design and produce both the advertising copy and the physical printed advertisement.  Traditional advertising copy, both paper and vinyl, is shipped to centralized warehouses operated by us.  The copy is then sorted and delivered to sites where it is installed on our displays.

 

Construction and Operation

The International manufacturing process largely consists of two elements: the manufacture and installation of advertising structures and the weekly preparation of advertising posters for distribution throughout our networks.  Generally, we outsource the manufacturing of advertising structures to third parties and regularly seek competitive bids.  We use a wide range of suppliers, located in each of our markets.  The design of street furniture structures (such as bus shelters, bicycle racks and kiosks) is typically done in conjunction with a third party design or architectural firm.  These street furniture designs then form the basis of a competitive bidding process to select a manufacturer.  Our street furniture sites are posted by our own employees or subcontractors who also clean and maintain the sites.  The decision to use our own employees or subcontractors is made on a market-by-market basis taking into consideration the mix of products in the market and local labor costs.

 

Client Categories

In 2014, the top five client categories in our International segment, based on International revenue derived from these categories, were retail, food and food products, telecommunications, automotive, accessories, and equipment, and fashion/apparel/clothing/footwear/jewelry.

 

Competition

The international outdoor advertising industry is fragmented, consisting of several large companies involved in outdoor advertising, such as JCDecaux and ExterionMedia, as well as numerous smaller and local companies operating a limited number of displays in a single market or a few local markets.  We also compete with other advertising media in our respective markets, including broadcast and cable television, radio, print media, direct mail, online and other forms of advertisement.  Outdoor companies compete primarily based on ability to reach consumers, which is driven by location of the display.

 

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Employees

As of December 31, 2014, we had approximately 1,700 domestic employees and approximately 4,700 international employees, of which approximately 5,600 were in direct operations and 800 were in administrative or corporate related activities. Approximately 100 of our employees are subject to collective bargaining agreements in their respective countries. We are a party to numerous collective bargaining agreements, none of which represent a significant number of employees.  We believe that our relationship with our employees is good.

 

Seasonality

Required information is located within Item 7 of Part II of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

Regulation of our Business

The outdoor advertising industry in the United States is subject to governmental regulation at the federal, state and local levels. These regulations may include, among others, restrictions on the construction, repair, maintenance, lighting, upgrading, height, size, spacing and location and permitting of and, in some instances, content of advertising copy being displayed on outdoor advertising structures.  In addition, international regulations have a significant impact on the outdoor advertising industry.  International regulation of the outdoor advertising industry can vary by municipality, region and country, but generally limits the size, placement, nature and density of out-of-home displays. Other regulations may limit the subject matter and language of out-of-home displays.

 

From time to time, legislation has been introduced in both the United States and foreign jurisdictions attempting to impose taxes on revenue from outdoor advertising or for the right to use outdoor advertising assets. Several jurisdictions have imposed such taxes as a percentage of our outdoor advertising revenue generated in that jurisdiction.  In addition, some jurisdictions have taxed our personal property and leasehold interests in advertising locations using various valuation methodologies.  We expect U.S. and foreign jurisdictions to continue to try to impose such taxes as a way of increasing revenue.  In recent years, outdoor advertising also has become the subject of targeted taxes and fees.  These laws may affect prevailing competitive conditions in our markets in a variety of ways.  Such laws may reduce our expansion opportunities or may increase or reduce competitive pressure from other members of the outdoor advertising industry.  No assurance can be given that existing or future laws or regulations, and the enforcement thereof, will not materially and adversely affect the outdoor advertising industry.  However, we contest laws and regulations that we believe unlawfully restrict our constitutional or other legal rights and may adversely impact the growth of our outdoor advertising business.

 

In the United States, federal law, principally the Highway Beautification Act (“HBA”), regulates outdoor advertising on Federal-Aid Primary, Interstate and National Highway Systems roads within the United States (“controlled roads”). The HBA regulates the size and placement of billboards, requires the development of state standards, mandates a state’s compliance program, promotes the expeditious removal of illegal signs and requires just compensation for takings.

 

To satisfy the HBA’s requirements, all states have passed billboard control statutes and regulations that regulate, among other things, construction, repair, maintenance, lighting, height, size, spacing and the placement and permitting of outdoor advertising structures.  We are not aware of any state that has passed control statutes and regulations less restrictive than the prevailing federal requirements on the federal highway system, including the requirement that an owner remove any non-grandfathered, non-compliant signs along the controlled roads, at the owner’s expense and without compensation.  Local governments generally also include billboard control as part of their zoning laws and building codes regulating those items described above and include similar provisions regarding the removal of non-grandfathered structures that do not comply with certain of the local requirements.  Some local governments have initiated code enforcement and permit reviews of billboards within their jurisdiction. In some instances we have had to remove billboards as a result of such reviews.

 

As part of their billboard control laws, state and local governments regulate the construction of new signs.  Some jurisdictions prohibit new construction, some jurisdictions allow new construction only to replace or relocate existing structures and some jurisdictions allow new construction subject to the various restrictions discussed above.  In certain jurisdictions, restrictive regulations also limit our ability to relocate, rebuild, repair, maintain, upgrade, modify or replace existing legal non-conforming billboards.

 

U.S. federal law neither requires nor prohibits the removal of existing lawful billboards, but it does mandate the payment of compensation if a state or political subdivision compels the removal of a lawful billboard along the controlled roads.  In the past, state governments have purchased and removed existing lawful billboards for beautification purposes using federal funding for transportation enhancement programs, and these jurisdictions may continue to do so in the future. From time to time, state and local government authorities use the power of eminent domain and amortization to remove billboards.  Thus far, we have been able to obtain satisfactory compensation for, or relocation of, our billboards purchased or removed as a result of these types of governmental action, although there is no assurance that this will continue to be the case in the future.

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We have introduced and intend to expand the deployment of digital billboards that display static digital advertising copy from various advertisers that change up to several times per minute. We have encountered some existing regulations in the U.S. and across some international jurisdictions that restrict or prohibit these types of digital displays.  However, since digital technology for changing static copy has only recently been developed and introduced into the market on a large scale, and is in the process of being introduced more broadly in our international markets, existing regulations that currently do not apply to digital technology by their terms could be revised to impose greater restrictions. These regulations, or actions by third parties, may impose greater restrictions on digital billboards due to alleged concerns over aesthetics or driver safety.

 

ITEM 1A.  RISK FACTORS

Risks Related to Our Business

Our results have been in the past, and could be in the future, adversely affected by economic uncertainty or deteriorations in economic conditions

We derive revenues from the sale of advertising.  Expenditures by advertisers tend to be cyclical, reflecting economic conditions and budgeting and buying patterns.  Periods of a slowing economy or recession, or periods of economic uncertainty, may be accompanied by a decrease in advertising. For example, the global economic downturn that began in 2008 resulted in a decline in advertising and marketing by our customers, which resulted in a decline in advertising revenues across our businesses. This reduction in advertising revenues had an adverse effect on our revenue, profit margins, cash flow and liquidity. Global economic conditions have been slow to recover and remain uncertain.  If economic conditions do not continue to improve, economic uncertainty increases or economic conditions deteriorate again, global economic conditions may once again adversely impact our revenue, profit margins, cash flow and liquidity.  Furthermore, because a significant portion of our revenue is derived from local advertisers, our ability to generate revenues in specific markets is directly affected by local and regional conditions, and unfavorable regional economic conditions also may adversely impact our results.  In addition, even in the absence of a downturn in general economic conditions, an individual business sector or market may experience a downturn, causing it to reduce its advertising expenditures, which also may adversely impact our results.

 

We performed impairment tests on our goodwill and other intangible assets during the fourth quarter of 2014, 2013 and 2012 and recorded non-cash impairment charges of $3.5 million, $13.2 million and $37.7 million, respectively.  Although we believe we have made reasonable estimates and used appropriate assumptions to calculate the fair value of our billboard permits and reporting units, it is possible a material change could occur.  If actual market conditions and operational performance for the respective reporting units underlying the intangible assets were to deteriorate, or if facts and circumstances change that would more likely than not reduce the estimated fair value of the indefinite-lived assets or goodwill for these reporting units below their adjusted carrying amounts, we may also be required to recognize additional impairment charges in future periods, which could have a material impact on our financial condition and results of operations.

 

To service our debt obligations and to fund capital expenditures, we will require a significant amount of cash to meet our needs, which depends on many factors beyond our control

Our ability to service our debt obligations and to fund capital expenditures for display construction, renovation or maintenance will require a significant amount of cash.  Our primary source of liquidity is cash on hand, cash flow from operations and the revolving promissory note with iHeartCommunications.  Based on our current and anticipated levels of operations and conditions in our markets, we believe that cash on hand, cash flow from operations, any available borrowing capacity under the senior revolving credit facility and borrowing capacity under or repayment of amounts outstanding under the revolving promissory note with iHeartCommunications will enable us to meet our working capital, capital expenditure, debt service and other funding requirements for at least the next twelve months.  However, our ability to fund our working capital, capital expenditures, debt service and other obligations depends on our future operating performance and cash from operations and other liquidity-generating transactions, which are in turn subject to prevailing economic conditions and other factors, many of which are beyond our control. If our future operating performance does not meet our expectation or our plans materially change in an adverse manner or prove to be materially inaccurate, we may need additional financing.  In addition, the purchase price of possible acquisitions, capital expenditures for deployment of digital billboards and/or other strategic initiatives could require additional indebtedness or equity financing on our part.  Adverse securities and credit market conditions could significantly affect the availability of equity or debt financing. Consequently, there can be no assurance that such financing, if permitted under the terms of our financing agreements, will be available on terms acceptable to us or at all. The inability to obtain additional financing in such circumstances could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and on our ability to meet our obligations or pursue strategic initiatives. Additional indebtedness could increase our leverage and make us more vulnerable to economic downturns and may limit our ability to withstand competitive pressures.

 

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Our financial performance may be adversely affected by many factors beyond our control

Certain factors that could adversely affect our financial performance by, among other things, decreasing overall revenues, the numbers of advertising customers, advertising fees or profit margins include:

 

·         unfavorable economic conditions, which may cause companies to reduce their expenditures on advertising;

·         an increased level of competition for advertising dollars, which may lead to lower advertising rates as we attempt to retain customers or which may cause us to lose customers to our competitors who offer lower rates that we are unable or unwilling to match;

·         unfavorable fluctuations in operating costs, which we may be unwilling or unable to pass through to our customers;

·         technological changes and innovations that we are unable to successfully adopt or are late in adopting that offer more attractive advertising alternatives than what we offer, which may lead to a loss of advertising customers or to lower advertising rates;

·         changes in governmental regulations and policies and actions of regulatory bodies, including increased eminent domain activity or changes to restrictions on rebuilding non-conforming structures, which could increase our taxes or other costs, reduce our outdoor advertising inventory or restrict the advertising media that we employ or restrict some or all of our customers that operate in regulated areas from using certain advertising media or from advertising at all;

·         unfavorable shifts in population and other demographics, which may cause us to lose advertising customers as people migrate to markets where we have a smaller presence or which may cause advertisers to be willing to pay less in advertising fees if the general population shifts into a less desirable age or geographical demographic from an advertising perspective; and

·         unfavorable changes in labor conditions, which may impair our ability to operate or require us to spend more to retain and attract key employees.

 

We face intense competition in the outdoor advertising business

We operate in a highly competitive industry, and we may not be able to maintain or increase our current advertising and sales revenues.  We compete for advertising revenue with other outdoor advertising businesses, as well as with other media, such as radio, newspapers, magazines, television, direct mail, mobile devices, satellite radio and Internet-based services, within their respective markets.  Market shares are subject to change, which could have the effect of reducing our revenue in that market.  Our competitors may develop technology, services or advertising media that are equal or superior to those we provide or that achieve greater market acceptance and brand recognition than we achieve.  It also is possible that new competitors may emerge and rapidly acquire significant market share in any of our business segments.  An increased level of competition for advertising dollars may lead to lower advertising rates as we attempt to retain customers or may cause us to lose customers to our competitors who offer lower rates that we are unable or unwilling to match.

 

Our business is dependent on our management team and other key individuals

Our business is dependent upon the performance of our management team and other key individuals.  A number of key individuals have joined us or assumed increased responsibilities over the past several years, including Robert W. Pittman, who became our Executive Chairman on October 2, 2011, C. William Eccleshare, who was promoted to be our Chief Executive Officer on January 24, 2012, and Richard J. Bressler, who became our Chief Financial Officer on July 29, 2013.  Although we have entered into agreements with some members of our management team and certain other key individuals, we can give no assurance that all or any of our management team and other key individuals will remain with us, or that we won’t continue to make changes to the composition of, and the roles and responsibilities of, our management team. Competition for these individuals is intense and many of our key employees are at-will employees who are under no legal obligation to remain with us, and may decide to leave for a variety of personal or other reasons beyond our control. We are currently contemplating modifying certain roles and responsibilities of specified members of our management team to more align with their operational focus.  If members of our management or key individuals decide to leave us in the future, if we decide to make further changes to the composition of, or the roles and responsibilities of, these individuals, or if we are not successful in attracting, motivating and retaining other key employees, our business could be adversely affected.

 

Government regulation of outdoor advertising may restrict our outdoor advertising operations

U.S. federal, state and local regulations have a significant impact on the outdoor advertising industry and our business. One of the seminal laws is the HBA, which regulates outdoor advertising on controlled roads in the United States. The HBA regulates the size and location of billboards, mandates a state compliance program, requires the development of state standards, promotes the expeditious removal of illegal signs and requires just compensation for takings. Construction, repair, maintenance, lighting, upgrading, height, size, spacing, the location and permitting of billboards and the use of new technologies for changing displays, such as digital displays, are regulated by federal, state and local governments. From time to time, states and municipalities have prohibited or

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significantly limited the construction of new outdoor advertising structures.  Changes in laws and regulations affecting outdoor advertising, or changes in the interpretation of those laws and regulations, at any level of government, including the foreign jurisdictions in which we operate, could have a significant financial impact on us by requiring us to make significant expenditures or otherwise limiting or restricting some of our operations. Due to such regulations, it has become increasingly difficult to develop new outdoor advertising locations.

 

From time to time, certain state and local governments and third parties have attempted to force the removal of our displays under various state and local laws, including zoning ordinances, permit enforcement, condemnation and amortization. Similar risks also arise in certain of our international jurisdictions.  Amortization is the attempted forced removal of legal non-conforming billboards (billboards which conformed with applicable laws and regulations when built, but which do not conform to current laws and regulations) or the commercial advertising placed on such billboards after a period of years. Pursuant to this concept, the governmental body asserts that just compensation is earned by continued operation of the billboard over time. Although amortization is prohibited along all controlled roads and generally prohibited along non-controlled roads, amortization has been upheld along non-controlled roads in limited instances where provided by state and local law. Other regulations limit our ability to rebuild, replace, repair, maintain and upgrade non-conforming displays. In addition, from time to time third parties or local governments assert that we own or operate displays that either are not properly permitted or otherwise are not in strict compliance with applicable law. If we are increasingly unable to resolve such allegations or obtain acceptable arrangements in circumstances in which our displays are subject to removal, modification or amortization, or if there occurs an increase in such regulations or their enforcement, our operating results could suffer.

 

A number of state and local governments have implemented or initiated taxes, fees and registration requirements in an effort to decrease or restrict the number of outdoor signs and/or to raise revenue.  From time to time, legislation also has been introduced in international jurisdictions attempting to impose taxes on revenue from outdoor advertising or for the right to use outdoor advertising assets.  In addition, a number of jurisdictions have implemented legislation or interpreted existing legislation to restrict or prohibit the installation of digital billboards, and we expect these efforts to continue. The increased imposition of these measures, and our inability to overcome any such measures, could reduce our operating income if those outcomes require removal or restrictions on the use of preexisting displays or limit growth of digital displays.  In addition, if we are unable to pass on the cost of these items to our clients, our operating income could be adversely affected.

 

International regulation of the outdoor advertising industry can vary by municipality, region and country, but generally limits the size, placement, nature and density of out-of-home displays. Other regulations limit the subject matter and language of out-of-home displays. Our failure to comply with these or any future international regulations could have an adverse impact on the effectiveness of our displays or their attractiveness to clients as an advertising medium and may require us to make significant expenditures to ensure compliance. As a result, we may experience a significant impact on our operations, revenue, international client base and overall financial condition.

 

Additional restrictions on outdoor advertising of tobacco, alcohol and other products may further restrict the categories of clients that can advertise using our products

Out-of-court settlements between the major U.S. tobacco companies and all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories include a ban on the outdoor advertising of tobacco products.  Other products and services may be targeted in the U.S. in the future, including alcohol products.  Most European Union countries, among other nations, also have banned outdoor advertisements for tobacco products and regulate alcohol advertising.  Regulations vary across the countries in which we conduct business.  Any significant reduction in alcohol-related advertising or advertising of other products due to content-related restrictions could cause a reduction in our direct revenues from such advertisements and an increase in the available space on the existing inventory of billboards in the outdoor advertising industry.

 

Regulations and consumer concerns regarding privacy and data protection, or any failure to comply with these regulations, could hinder our operations

We collect and utilize demographic and other information, including personally identifiable information, from and about our consumers, business partners and advertisers.  We are subject to numerous federal, state and foreign laws and regulations relating to consumer protection, information security, data protection and privacy, among other things.  Many of these laws are still evolving, new laws may be enacted and any of these laws could be amended or interpreted in ways that could harm our business.  In addition, changes in consumer expectations and demands regarding privacy and data protection could restrict our ability to collect, use, disclose and derive economic value from demographic and other information related to our consumers, business partners and advertisers.  Such restrictions could limit our ability to offer targeted advertising opportunities to our business partners and advertisers.  Although we have implemented policies and procedures designed to comply with these laws and regulations, any failure or perceived failure by us to comply with our policies or applicable regulatory requirements related to consumer protection, information security, data protection

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and privacy could result in a loss of confidence in us, damage to our brands, the loss of consumers, business partners and advertisers, as well as proceedings against us by governmental authorities or others, which could hinder our operations and adversely affect our business.

 

If our security measures are breached, we could lose valuable information, suffer disruptions to our business, and incur expenses and liabilities including damages to our relationships with business partners and advertisers

Although we have implemented physical and electronic security measures to protect against the loss, misuse and alteration of our websites, digital assets and proprietary business information as well as, consumer, business partner and advertiser personally identifiable information, no security measures are perfect and impenetrable and we may be unable to anticipate or prevent unauthorized access.  A security breach could occur due to the actions of outside parties, employee error, malfeasance or a combination of these or other actions.  If an actual or perceived breach of our security occurs, we could lose competitively sensitive business information or suffer disruptions to our business operations, information processes or internal controls.  In addition, the public perception of the effectiveness of our security measures or services could be harmed; we could lose consumers, business partners and advertisers.  In the event of a security breach, we could suffer financial exposure in connection with remediation efforts, investigations and legal proceedings and changes in our security and system protection measures.

 

Environmental, health, safety and land use laws and regulations may limit or restrict some of our operations

As the owner or operator of various real properties and facilities, we must comply with various foreign, federal, state and local environmental, health, safety and land use laws and regulations. We and our properties are subject to such laws and regulations relating to the use, storage, disposal, emission and release of hazardous and non-hazardous substances and employee health and safety as well as zoning restrictions. Historically, we have not incurred significant expenditures to comply with these laws. However, additional laws which may be passed in the future, or a finding of a violation of or liability under existing laws, could require us to make significant expenditures and otherwise limit or restrict some of our operations.

 

Doing business in foreign countries exposes us to certain risks not found when doing business in the United States

Doing business in foreign countries carries with it certain risks that are not found when doing business in the United States.  These risks could result in losses against which we are not insured.  Examples of these risks include:

 

·         potential adverse changes in the diplomatic relations of foreign countries with the United States;

·         hostility from local populations;

·         the adverse effect of foreign exchange controls;

·         government policies against businesses owned by foreigners;

·         investment restrictions or requirements;

·         expropriations of property without adequate compensation;

·         the potential instability of foreign governments;

·         the risk of insurrections;

·         risks of renegotiation or modification of existing agreements with governmental authorities;

·         difficulties collecting receivables and otherwise enforcing contracts with governmental agencies and others in some foreign legal systems;

·         withholding and other taxes on remittances and other payments by subsidiaries;

·         changes in tax structure and level; and

·         changes in laws or regulations or the interpretation or application of laws or regulations.

 

In addition, because we own assets in foreign countries and derive revenues from our International operations, we may incur currency translation losses due to changes in the values of foreign currencies and in the value of the U.S. dollar.  We cannot predict the effect of exchange rate fluctuations upon future operating results.

 

Our International operations involve contracts with, and regulation by, foreign governments.  We operate in many parts of the world that experience corruption to some degree.  Although we have policies and procedures in place that are designed to promote legal and regulatory compliance (including with respect to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the United Kingdom Bribery Act), our employees, subcontractors and agents could take actions that violate applicable anticorruption laws or regulations.  Violations of these laws, or allegations of such violations, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position and results of operations.

 

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The success of our street furniture and transit products businesses is dependent on our obtaining key municipal concessions, which we may not be able to obtain on favorable terms

Our street furniture and transit products businesses require us to obtain and renew contracts with municipalities and other governmental entities.  Many of these contracts, which require us to participate in competitive bidding processes at each renewal, typically have terms ranging from three to 20 years and have revenue share and/or fixed payment components.  Our inability to successfully negotiate, renew or complete these contracts due to governmental demands and delay and the highly competitive bidding processes for these contracts could affect our ability to offer these products to our clients, or to offer them to our clients at rates that are competitive to other forms of advertising, without adversely affecting our financial results.

 

Future acquisitions and other strategic transactions could pose risks

We frequently evaluate strategic opportunities both within and outside our existing lines of business.  We expect from time to time to pursue additional acquisitions and may decide to dispose of certain businesses.  These acquisitions or dispositions could be material.  Our acquisition strategy involves numerous risks, including:

 

·         our acquisitions may prove unprofitable and fail to generate anticipated cash flows;

·         to successfully manage our large portfolio of outdoor advertising and other properties, we may need to:

·         recruit additional senior management as we cannot be assured that senior management of acquired businesses will continue to work for us and we cannot be certain that our recruiting efforts will succeed, and

·         expand corporate infrastructure to facilitate the integration of our operations with those of acquired businesses, because failure to do so may cause us to lose the benefits of any expansion that we decide to undertake by leading to disruptions in our ongoing businesses or by distracting our management;

·         we may enter into markets and geographic areas where we have limited or no experience;

·         we may encounter difficulties in the integration of operations and systems; and

·         our management’s attention may be diverted from other business concerns.

 

Additional acquisitions by us may require antitrust review by U.S. federal antitrust agencies and may require review by foreign antitrust agencies under the antitrust laws of foreign jurisdictions.  We can give no assurances that the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission or foreign antitrust agencies will not seek to bar us from acquiring additional outdoor advertising businesses in any market where we already have a significant position. 

 

Risks Related to Our Relationship with iHeartCommunications

Because iHeartCommunications controls substantially all of the total voting power of our common stock, investors will not be able to affect the outcome of any stockholder vote

As of December 31, 2014, iHeartCommunications indirectly owned (1) all of our outstanding shares of Class B common stock and (2) 6,553,971 shares of our Class A common stock, collectively representing approximately 89% of the outstanding shares of our common stock.  Each share of our Class B common stock entitles its holder to 20 votes and each share of our Class A common stock entitles its holder to one vote on all matters on which stockholders are entitled to vote.  As a result, as of December 31, 2014, iHeartCommunications controlled approximately 99% of the total voting power of our common stock.

 

On January 7, 2015, a subsidiary of iHeartCommunications purchased an additional 2,000,000 shares of our Class A common stock, increasing iHeartCommunications’ collective holdings to slightly less than 90% of the outstanding shares of our common stock.

 

As long as iHeartCommunications continues to own shares of our common stock representing more than 50% of the total voting power of our common stock, it will have the ability to direct the election of all members of our board of directors and, therefore, to exercise a controlling influence over our business and affairs, including any determinations with respect to mergers or other business combinations, our acquisition or disposition of assets, our incurrence of indebtedness, our issuance of any additional common stock or other equity securities, our repurchase or redemption of common stock or preferred stock, if applicable, and our payment of dividends in certain situations.  Similarly, iHeartCommunications will have the power to determine the outcome of matters submitted to a vote of our stockholders, including the power to prevent an acquisition or any other change in control.  Because iHeartCommunications’ interests as our controlling stockholder may differ from other stockholders’ interests, actions taken by iHeartCommunications with respect to us may not be favorable to all stockholders.

 

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Our agreements with iHeartCommunications impose obligations on, and iHeartCommunications’ financing agreements effectively impose restrictions on, our ability to finance operations and capital needs, make acquisitions and engage in other business activities

We have entered into a Master Agreement, a Corporate Services Agreement, a Tax Matters Agreement, a Trademark License Agreement and a number of other agreements with iHeartCommunications setting forth various matters governing our relationship with iHeartCommunications while it remains a significant stockholder in us.  These agreements allow iHeartCommunications to retain control over many aspects of our operations.  We are not able to terminate these agreements or amend them in a manner we deem more favorable so long as iHeartCommunications continues to own shares of our common stock representing more than 50% of the total voting power of our common stock.  iHeartCommunications’ financing agreements also impose a number of restrictions on us.

 

Pursuant to the Corporate Services Agreement, we are obligated to use various corporate services provided by iHeartCommunications and its affiliates, including treasury, payroll and other financial services, certain executive officer services, human resources and employee benefit services, legal services, information systems and network services and procurement and sourcing support.  Also pursuant to the Corporate Services Agreement, substantially all of the cash generated from our domestic Americas operations is transferred daily into accounts of iHeartCommunications (after satisfying our controlled disbursement accounts and the funding requirements of the trustee accounts under the senior notes and the senior subordinated notes issued by Clear Channel Worldwide Holdings, Inc., an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of ours), where funds of ours and of iHeartCommunications are commingled, and recorded as “Due from/to iHeartCommunications” on the consolidated balance sheet.  Net amounts owed between us and iHeartCommunications are evidenced by revolving promissory notes.  We do not have any material committed external sources of capital independent from iHeartCommunications, and iHeartCommunications is not required to provide us with funds to finance our working capital or other cash requirements. In addition, we have no access to the cash transferred from us to iHeartCommunications other than our right to demand payment by iHeartCommunications’ of the amounts owed to us under the revolving promissory note. 

 

The “Due from iHeartCommunications” note previously was the subject of derivative litigation filed by our stockholders in the Delaware Court of Chancery.  Pursuant to the terms of the settlement, our board of directors established a committee for the specific purpose of monitoring the Due from iHeartCommunications note.  That committee has the non-exclusive authority to demand payments under the Due from iHeartCommunications note under certain specified circumstances tied to iHeartCommunications’ liquidity or the amount outstanding under the Due from iHeartCommunications note as long as our board of directors declares a simultaneous dividend equal to the amount so demanded.  Any future repayments and simultaneous dividends would further reduce the amount of the Due from iHeartCommunications note asset that is available to us as a source of liquidity for ongoing working capital, capital expenditure, debt service and other funding requirements.

 

If iHeartCommunications were to become insolvent, we would be an unsecured creditor of iHeartCommunications.  In such event, we would be treated the same as other unsecured creditors of iHeartCommunications and, if we were not entitled to amounts outstanding under such note, or could not obtain such cash on a timely basis, we could experience a liquidity shortfall.  At December 31, 2014 and 2013, the asset recorded in “Due from iHeartCommunications” on the consolidated balance sheet was $947.8 million and $879.1 million, respectively. 

 

In addition, the Master Agreement and, in some cases, iHeartCommunications’ financing agreements, include restrictive covenants that, among other things, restrict our ability to:

 

·         issue any shares of capital stock or securities convertible into capital stock;

·         incur additional indebtedness;

·         make certain acquisitions and investments;

·         repurchase our stock;

·         dispose of certain assets; and

·         merge or consolidate.

 

The rights of iHeartCommunications under these agreements may allow iHeartCommunications to delay or prevent an acquisition of us that our other stockholders may consider favorable.  In addition, the restrictions contained in these agreements limit our ability to finance operations and capital needs, make acquisitions or engage in other business activities, including our ability to grow and increase our revenue or respond to competitive changes.

 

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The terms of our arrangements with iHeartCommunications may be more favorable than we would be able to obtain from an unaffiliated third party, and we may be unable to replace the services iHeartCommunications provides us in a timely manner or on comparable terms

We negotiated our arrangements with iHeartCommunications in the context of a parent-subsidiary relationship prior to the initial public offering of our Class A common stock.  Although iHeartCommunications is contractually obligated to provide us with services during the term of the Corporate Services Agreement, we cannot assure you these services will be sustained at an appropriate level, or that we will be able to replace these services in a timely manner or on comparable terms.  In addition, we cannot provide assurance that the amount we pay iHeartCommunications for the services will be as favorable to us as that which may be available for comparable services provided by unrelated third parties.  Other agreements with iHeartCommunications also govern our relationship with iHeartCommunications and provide for the allocation of employee benefit, tax and other liabilities and obligations attributable to our operations.  The agreements also contain terms and provisions that may be more favorable than terms and provisions we might have obtained in arm’s length negotiations with unaffiliated third parties.  If iHeartCommunications ceases to provide services to us pursuant to those agreements, our costs of procuring those services from third parties may increase.

 

Conflicts of interest may arise between iHeartCommunications and us that could be resolved in a manner unfavorable to us

Questions relating to conflicts of interest may arise between iHeartCommunications and us in a number of areas relating to our past and ongoing relationships.  iHeartCommunications is owned indirectly by iHeartMedia. Two of our directors serve as directors of iHeartMedia. Three of our other directors are affiliated with iHeartMedia and its stockholders.  In addition, five of our executive officers serve as executive officers of iHeartMedia.

 

Areas in which conflicts of interest between iHeartCommunications and us could arise include, but are not limited to, the following:

 

·             Cross officerships, directorships and stock ownership.  The ownership interests of our directors or executive officers in the common stock of iHeartMedia or service as a director or officer of both iHeartMedia and us could create, or appear to create, conflicts of interest when directors and executive officers are faced with decisions that could have different implications for the two companies.  For example, these decisions could relate to: (1) the nature, quality and cost of services rendered to us by iHeartCommunications; (2) disagreement over the desirability of a potential acquisition opportunity; (3) employee retention or recruiting; or (4) our capital structure, including our level of indebtedness and our dividend policy.

·             Intercompany transactions.  From time to time, iHeartCommunications or its affiliates may enter into transactions with us or our subsidiaries or other affiliates.  Although the terms of any such transactions will be established based upon negotiations between employees of iHeartCommunications and us and, when appropriate, subject to the approval of the independent directors on our board or a committee of disinterested directors, there can be no assurance the terms of any such transactions will be as favorable to us or our subsidiaries or affiliates as may otherwise be obtained in arm’s length negotiations.

·             Intercompany agreements. We have entered into certain agreements with iHeartCommunications pursuant to which it provides us certain management, administrative, accounting, tax, legal and other services, for which we reimburse iHeartCommunications on a cost basis.  In addition, we entered into a number of intercompany agreements covering matters such as tax sharing and our responsibility for certain liabilities previously undertaken by iHeartCommunications for certain of our businesses.  Pursuant to the Corporate Services Agreement between iHeartCommunications and us, we are contractually obligated to utilize the services of certain executive officers of iHeartCommunications as our executive officers until iHeartCommunications owns shares of our common stock representing less than 50% of the total voting power of our common stock, or we provide iHeartCommunications with six months prior written notice of termination.  The terms of these agreements were established while we were a wholly owned subsidiary of iHeartCommunications and were not the result of arm’s length negotiations.  In addition, conflicts could arise in the interpretation or any extension or renegotiation of these existing agreements.

 

If iHeartCommunications engages in the same type of business we conduct or takes advantage of business opportunities that might be attractive to us, our ability to successfully operate and expand our business may be hampered

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that, subject to any contractual provision to the contrary, iHeartCommunications will have no obligation to refrain from:

 

·             engaging in the same or similar business activities or lines of business as us; or

·             doing business with any of our clients, customers or vendors.

 

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In addition, the corporate opportunity policy set forth in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation addresses potential conflicts of interest between our company, on the one hand, and iHeartCommunications or iHeartMedia and its officers and directors who are officers or directors of our company, on the other hand.  The policy provides that if iHeartCommunications or iHeartMedia acquires knowledge of a potential transaction or matter which may be a corporate opportunity for both iHeartCommunications and us, we will have renounced our interest in the corporate opportunity.  It also provides that if one of our directors or officers who is also a director or officer of iHeartCommunications or iHeartMedia learns of a potential transaction or matter that may be a corporate opportunity for both iHeartCommunications and us, we will have renounced our interest in the corporate opportunity, unless that opportunity is expressly offered to that person in writing solely in his or her capacity as our director or officer.

 

If one of our directors or officers, who also serves as a director or officer of iHeartCommunications or iHeartMedia, learns of a potential transaction or matter that may be a corporate opportunity for both iHeartCommunications and us, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that the director or officer will have no duty to communicate or present that corporate opportunity to us and will not be liable to us or our stockholders for breach of fiduciary duty by reason of iHeartCommunications’ actions with respect to that corporate opportunity.

 

This policy could result in iHeartCommunications having rights to corporate opportunities in which both we and iHeartCommunications have an interest.

 

We are a “controlled company” within the meaning of the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) rules and, as a result, qualify for, and intend to rely on, exemptions from certain corporate governance requirements that may not provide as many protections as those afforded to stockholders of other companies

iHeartCommunications owns shares of our common stock representing more than 50% of the total voting power of our common stock and, as a result, we have elected to be treated as a “controlled company” under the NYSE corporate governance standards.  As a controlled company, we are exempt from the provisions of the NYSE’s corporate governance standards requiring that: (1) a majority of our board consists of independent directors; (2) we have a nominating and governance committee composed entirely of independent directors and governed by a written charter addressing the nominating and governance committee’s purpose and responsibilities; and (3) we have a compensation committee composed entirely of independent directors with a written charter addressing the compensation committee’s purpose and responsibilities.  Although we currently have a compensation committee composed entirely of independent directors with a written charter addressing the compensation committee’s purpose and responsibilities, we currently do not have a nominating and governance committee and a majority of our board of directors currently does not consist of independent directors.  We intend to continue using certain of these exemptions and, as a result: (1) we may not create or maintain a nominating and governance committee; (2) the nominating and governance committee (if one is created) and the compensation committee may not consist entirely of independent directors; and (3) our board of directors may not consist of a majority of independent directors.  Accordingly, you may not have the same protections afforded to stockholders of companies that are subject to all of the NYSE corporate governance requirements.

 

We do not have control over our tax decisions and could be liable for income taxes owed by iHeartCommunications

As long as iHeartCommunications continues to own shares of our common stock representing at least 80% of the total voting power and value of our common stock, we and certain of our subsidiaries will be included in iHeartCommunications’ consolidated group for U.S. federal income tax purposes for all pre-merger periods and iHeartMedia’s consolidated group for post-merger periods.  In addition, we or one or more of our subsidiaries may be included in the combined, consolidated or unitary tax returns of iHeartCommunications for pre-merger periods and iHeartMedia for post-merger periods or one or more of its subsidiaries for foreign, state and local income tax purposes.  Under the Tax Matters Agreement, we pay to iHeartCommunications the amount of federal, foreign, state and local income taxes that we would be required to pay to the relevant taxing authorities if we and our subsidiaries filed combined, consolidated or unitary tax returns and were not included in the combined, consolidated or unitary tax returns of iHeartCommunications or its subsidiaries.  In addition, by virtue of its controlling ownership and the Tax Matters Agreement, iHeartCommunications effectively controls all of our tax decisions.  The Tax Matters Agreement provides that iHeartCommunications has the sole authority to respond to and conduct all tax proceedings (including tax audits) relating to us, to file all income tax returns on our behalf and to determine the amount of our liability to (or entitlement to payment from) iHeartCommunications under the Tax Matters Agreement.  This arrangement may result in conflicts of interest between iHeartCommunications and us.  For example, under the Tax Matters Agreement, iHeartCommunications is able to choose to contest, compromise, or settle any adjustment or deficiency proposed by the relevant taxing authority in a manner that may be beneficial to iHeartCommunications and detrimental to us.

 

Moreover, notwithstanding the Tax Matters Agreement, federal law provides that each member of a consolidated group is liable for the group’s entire tax obligation.  Thus, to the extent iHeartCommunications or other members of the group fail to make any United States federal income tax payments required by law, we would be liable for the shortfall.  Similar principles may apply for

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foreign, state and local income tax purposes where we file combined, consolidated or unitary returns with iHeartCommunications or its subsidiaries for federal, foreign, state and local income tax purposes.

 

If iHeartCommunications spins off our Class B common stock to the iHeartMedia stockholders, we have agreed in the Tax Matters Agreement to indemnify iHeartCommunications for its tax-related liabilities in certain circumstances

If iHeartCommunications spins off our Class B common stock to the iHeartMedia’s stockholders in a distribution intended to be tax-free under Section 355 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, which we refer to herein as the Code, we have agreed in the Tax Matters Agreement to indemnify iHeartCommunications and its affiliates against any and all tax-related liabilities if such a spin-off fails to qualify as a tax-free distribution (including as a result of Section 355(e) of the Code) due to actions, events or transactions relating to our stock, assets or business, or a breach of the relevant representations or covenants made by us in the Tax Matters Agreement.  If neither we nor iHeartCommunications is responsible under the Tax Matters Agreement for any such spin-off not being tax-free under Section 355 of the Code, we and iHeartCommunications have agreed to each be responsible for 50% of the tax-related liabilities arising from the failure of such a spin-off to so qualify.

 

Risks Related to Our Class A Common Stock

Our stock ownership by iHeartCommunications, provisions in our agreements with iHeartCommunications and our corporate governance documents and Delaware law may delay or prevent an acquisition of us that our other stockholders may consider favorable, which could decrease the value of your shares of Class A common stock

As long as iHeartCommunications continues to own shares of our common stock representing more than 50% of the total voting power of our common stock, it will have the ability to control decisions regarding an acquisition of us by a third party.  As a controlled company, we are exempt from some of the corporate governance requirements of the NYSE, including the requirement that our board of directors be comprised of a majority of independent directors.  In addition, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, bylaws and Delaware law contain provisions that could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire us without the consent of our board of directors.  These provisions include restrictions on the ability of our stockholders to remove directors, supermajority voting requirements for stockholders to amend our organizational documents, restrictions on a classified board of directors and limitations on action by our stockholders by written consent.  Some of these provisions, such as the limitation on stockholder action by written consent, only become effective once iHeartCommunications no longer controls us.  In addition, our board of directors has the right to issue preferred stock without stockholder approval, which could be used to dilute the stock ownership of a potential hostile acquirer.  Delaware law also imposes certain restrictions on mergers and other business combinations between us and any holder of 15% or more of our outstanding voting stock.  These restrictions under Delaware law do not apply to iHeartCommunications while it retains at least 15% or more of our Class B common stock.  Although we believe these provisions protect our stockholders from coercive or otherwise unfair takeover tactics and thereby provide for an opportunity to receive a higher bid by requiring potential acquirers to negotiate with our board of directors, these provisions apply even if the offer may be considered beneficial by some stockholders.

 

If iHeartCommunications spins off our Class B common stock to the iHeartMedia stockholders and such shares do not convert into Class A common stock upon a sale or other transfer subsequent to such distribution, the voting rights of our Class A common stock will continue to be disproportionately lower than the voting rights of our Class B common stock

In connection with any distribution of shares of our Class B common stock to iHeartMedia’s common stockholders in a spin-off, iHeartCommunications may elect in its sole discretion whether our Class B common stock so distributed will automatically convert into shares of Class A common stock upon a transfer or sale by the recipient subsequent to the spin-off or whether the Class B common stock will continue as Class B common stock after the distribution.  In the event the Class B common stock does not convert into Class A common stock upon a sale or transfer subsequent to a spin-off, the voting rights of Class A common stock will continue to be disproportionately lower than the voting rights of our Class B common stock.  Therefore, the holders of our Class B common stock will continue to be able to direct the election of all the members of our board of directors and exercise a controlling influence over our business and affairs.

 

An increase in the concentration of our stock ownership by iHeartCommunications could depress the market price for shares of our Class A common stock

As a result of the significant concentration of our stock ownership, we have a relatively small public float compared to the number of our shares outstanding, which may adversely affect the trading price for our Class A common stock because investors may perceive disadvantages in owning stock in companies with controlling stockholders.  On August 9, 2010, iHeartCommunications, our indirect parent entity, announced a stock purchase program under which iHeartCommunications or its subsidiaries may purchase up to an aggregate of $100 million of our Class A common stock and/or the Class A common stock of iHeartMedia.  As of December 31, 2014, a subsidiary of iHeartCommunications had purchased 6,553,971 shares of our Class A common stock.  On January 7, 2015, a

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subsidiary of iHeartCommunications purchased an additional 2,000,000 shares of our Class A common stock.  Future stock purchases under this program would result in additional concentration of our stock ownership and further reduce our public float.

 

Future sales or distributions of our shares by iHeartCommunications could depress the market price for shares of our Class A common stock

iHeartCommunications may sell all or part of the shares of our common stock it owns or distribute those shares to the iHeartMedia stockholders, including pursuant to demand registration rights described in the Registration Rights Agreement between us and iHeartCommunications. Sales or distributions by iHeartCommunications of substantial amounts of our common stock in the public market or to the iHeartMedia stockholders could adversely affect prevailing market prices for our Class A common stock.  iHeartCommunications has advised us it currently intends to continue to hold all of our common stock it owns.  However, iHeartCommunications is not subject to any contractual obligation that would prohibit it from selling, spinning off, splitting off or otherwise disposing of any shares of our common stock.  Consequently, we cannot assure you iHeartCommunications will maintain its ownership of our common stock.

 

We currently do not pay regular dividends on our Class A common stock

Other than a special dividend paid by us on March 15, 2012, a special dividend paid by us on November 8, 2013 in connection with the settlement of litigation, and a special dividend paid by us on August 11, 2014, we have never paid dividends on our Class A common stock and are subject to restrictions on our ability to pay dividends should we seek to do so in the future.  We are a holding company with no independent operations and no significant assets other than the stock of our subsidiaries.  We, therefore, are dependent upon the receipt of dividends or other distributions from our subsidiaries to pay dividends.  In addition, Clear Channel Worldwide Holdings, Inc.’s (“CCWH”) senior notes and CCWH’s senior subordinated notes contain restrictions on our ability to pay dividends.  If we elect not to pay dividends in the future or are prevented from doing so, the price of our Class A common stock must appreciate in order to realize a gain on your investment.  This appreciation may not occur.

 

Risks Related to Our Indebtedness

We may not be able to generate sufficient cash to service all of our indebtedness and may be forced to take other actions to satisfy our obligations under our indebtedness, which may not be successful

We have a substantial amount of indebtedness.  At December 31, 2014, we had $4.9 billion of total indebtedness outstanding, including: (1) $2.7 billion aggregate principal amount of CCWH’s senior notes, which mature in November 2022; (2) $2.2 billion aggregate principal amount of CCWH’s senior subordinated notes, which mature in March 2020; and (3) $15.1 million of other debt. This large amount of indebtedness could have negative consequences for us, including, without limitation:

·         requiring us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow to the payment of principal and interest on indebtedness, thereby reducing cash available for other purposes, including to fund operations and capital expenditures, invest in new technology and pursue other business opportunities;

·         limiting our liquidity and operational flexibility and limiting our ability to obtain additional financing for working capital, capital expenditures, debt service requirements, acquisitions and general corporate or other purposes;

·         limiting our ability to adjust to changing economic, business and competitive conditions;

·         requiring us to defer planned capital expenditures, reduce discretionary spending, sell assets, restructure existing indebtedness or defer acquisitions or other strategic opportunities;

·         limiting our ability to refinance any of our indebtedness or increasing the cost of any such financing;

·         making us more vulnerable to a downturn in our operating performance, a decline in general economic or industry conditions or a disruption in the credit markets; and

·         making us more susceptible to negative changes in credit ratings, which could impact our ability to obtain financing in the future and increase the cost of such financing.

 

If compliance with our debt obligations materially hinders our ability to operate our business and adapt to changing industry conditions, we may lose market share, our revenue may decline and our operating results may suffer.

 

Our ability to make scheduled payments on our debt obligations depends on our financial condition and operating performance, which is subject to prevailing economic and competitive conditions and to certain financial, business and other factors beyond our control. We may not be able to maintain a level of cash flows from operating activities sufficient to permit us to pay the principal, premium, if any, and interest on our indebtedness.

 

If our cash flows and capital resources are insufficient to fund our debt service obligations, we may be forced to reduce or delay capital expenditures, sell assets or operations, seek additional capital or refinance our indebtedness.  We may not be able to take

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any of these actions, and these actions may not be successful or permit us to meet our scheduled debt service obligations.  Furthermore, these actions may not be permitted under the terms of our existing or future debt agreements.

 

Our ability to refinance our debt will depend on the condition of the capital markets and our financial condition at such time. Any refinancing of our debt could be at higher interest rates and increase our debt service obligations and may require us to comply with more onerous covenants, which could further restrict our business operations. The terms of existing or future debt instruments may restrict us from adopting some of these alternatives. These alternative measures may not be successful and may not permit us to meet our scheduled debt service obligations. If we cannot make scheduled payments on our indebtedness we will be in default under one or more of our debt agreements and, as a result we could be forced into bankruptcy or liquidation.

 

Because we derive a substantial portion of operating income from our subsidiaries, our ability to repay our debt depends upon the performance of our subsidiaries and their ability to dividend or distribute funds to us

We derive a substantial portion of operating income from our subsidiaries. As a result, our cash flow and the ability to service our indebtedness depend on the performance of our subsidiaries and the ability of those entities to distribute funds to us. We cannot assure you that our subsidiaries will be able to, or be permitted to, pay to us the amounts necessary to service our debt.

 

The documents governing our indebtedness and iHeartCommunications’ indebtedness contain restrictions that limit our flexibility in operating our business

Our material financing agreements and iHeartCommunications’ material financing agreements contain various covenants restricting, among other things, our ability to:

 

·         make acquisitions or investments;

·         make loans or otherwise extend credit to others;

·         incur indebtedness or issue shares or guarantees;

·         redeem, repurchase or retire our subordinated debt;

·         create liens;

·         enter into transactions with affiliates;

·         sell, lease, transfer or dispose of assets;

·         merge or consolidate with other companies; and

·         make a substantial change to the general nature of our business.

 

These restrictions could affect our ability to operate our business and may limit our ability to react to market conditions or take advantage of potential business opportunities as they arise.  For example, such restrictions could adversely affect our ability to finance our operations, make strategic acquisitions, investments or alliances, restructure our organization or finance our capital needs.  Additionally, our ability to comply with these covenants and restrictions may be affected by events beyond our control.  These include prevailing economic, financial and industry conditions.  If we breach any of these covenants or restrictions, we could be in default under the agreements governing our indebtedness and, as a result, we would be forced into bankruptcy or liquidation.

 

Downgrades in our and iHeartCommunications’ credit ratings may adversely affect our borrowing costs, limit our financing options, reduce our flexibility under future financings and adversely affect our liquidity, and also may adversely impact our business operations

Our and iHeartCommunications’ corporate credit ratings are speculative-grade.  Any reductions in our and iHeartCommunications’ credit ratings could increase our borrowing costs, reduce the availability of financing to us or increase the cost of doing business or otherwise negatively impact our business operations.

 

Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a safe harbor for forward-looking statements made by us or on our behalf.  Except for the historical information, this report contains various forward-looking statements which represent our expectations or beliefs concerning future events, including, without limitation, our future operating and financial performance, our ability to comply with the covenants in the agreements governing our indebtedness and the availability of capital and the terms thereof.  Statements expressing expectations and projections with respect to future matters are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  We caution that these forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties and are subject to many variables which could impact our future performance.  These statements are made on the basis of management’s views and assumptions, as of the time the statements are made, regarding future events and performance.  There can be no assurance, however, that management’s expectations will necessarily come to pass.  Actual future

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events and performance may differ materially from the expectations reflected in our forward-looking statements.  We do not intend, nor do we undertake any duty, to update any forward-looking statements.

 

A wide range of factors could materially affect future developments and performance, including but not limited to:

 

·         risks associated with weak or uncertain global economic conditions and their impact on the capital markets;

·         other general economic and political conditions in the United States and in other countries in which we currently do business, including those resulting from recessions, political events and acts or threats of terrorism or military conflicts;

·         industry conditions, including competition;

·         the level of expenditures on advertising;

·         legislative or regulatory requirements;

·         fluctuations in operating costs;

·         technological changes and innovations;

·         changes in labor conditions and management;

·         capital expenditure requirements;

·         risks of doing business in foreign countries;

·         fluctuations in exchange rates and currency values;

·         the outcome of pending and future litigation;

·         taxes and tax disputes;

·         changes in interest rates;

·         shifts in population and other demographics;

·         access to capital markets and borrowed indebtedness;

·         our ability to implement our business strategies;

·         the risk that we may not be able to integrate the operations of acquired businesses successfully;

·         the risk that our cost savings initiatives may not be entirely successful or that any cost savings achieved from those initiatives may not persist;

·         the impact of our substantial indebtedness, including the effect of our leverage on our financial position and earnings;

·         our ability to generate sufficient cash from operations or other liquidity-generating transactions and our need to allocate significant amounts of our cash to make payments on our indebtedness, which in turn could reduce our financial flexibility and ability to fund other activities;

·         our relationship with iHeartCommunications, including its ability to elect all of the members of our board of directors and its ability as our controlling stockholder to determine the outcome of matters submitted to our stockholders and certain additional matters governed by intercompany agreements between us;

·         the impact of the above and similar factors on iHeartCommunications, our primary direct or indirect external source of capital, which could have a significant need for capital in the future; and

·         certain other factors set forth in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

This list of factors that may affect future performance and the accuracy of forward-looking statements is illustrative and is not intended to be exhaustive.  Accordingly, all forward-looking statements should be evaluated with the understanding of their inherent uncertainty.

 

ITEM 1B.  UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None.

 

ITEM 2.  PROPERTIES

Our worldwide corporate headquarters is in San Antonio, Texas, where iHeartCommunications owns space in an executive office building and leases a data and administrative service center.  The headquarters of our Americas operations is in Phoenix, Arizona, and the headquarters of our International operations is in London, England.  The types of properties required to support each of our outdoor advertising branches include offices, production facilities and structure sites.  An outdoor branch and production facility is generally located in an industrial or warehouse district. In addition, certain of our executive and other operations are located in New York, New York.

 

The types of properties  required to support each of our outdoor advertising branches include offices, production facilities and structure sites.  An outdoor branch and production facility is generally located in an industrial or warehouse district.

With respect to each of the Americas and International segments, we primarily lease our outdoor display sites and own or

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have acquired permanent easements for relatively few parcels of real property that serve as the sites for our outdoor displays.  Our leases generally range from month-to-month to year-to-year and can be for terms of 10 years or longer, and many provide for renewal options.

 

There is no significant concentration of displays under any one lease or subject to negotiation with any one landlord.  We believe that an important part of our management activity is to negotiate suitable lease renewals and extensions.  For additional information regarding our properties, see “Item 1. Business.”

 

ITEM 3.  LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

We currently are involved in certain legal proceedings arising in the ordinary course of business and, as required, have accrued an estimate of the probable costs for the resolution of those claims for which the occurrence of loss is probable and the amount can be reasonably estimated.  These estimates have been developed in consultation with counsel and are based upon an analysis of potential results, assuming a combination of litigation and settlement strategies.  It is possible, however, that future results of operations for any particular period could be materially affected by changes in our assumptions or the effectiveness of our strategies related to these proceedings.  Additionally, due to the inherent uncertainty of litigation, there can be no assurance that the resolution of any particular claim or proceeding would not have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations.

 

Although we are involved in a variety of legal proceedings in the ordinary course of business, a large portion of our litigation arises in the following contexts: commercial disputes; employment and benefits related claims; governmental fines; and tax disputes.

 

Los Angeles Litigation

In 2008, Summit Media, LLC, one of the Company’s competitors, sued the City of Los Angeles (the “City”), Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc. and CBS Outdoor in Los Angeles Superior Court (Case No. BS116611) challenging the validity of a settlement agreement that had been entered into in November 2006 among the parties and pursuant to which Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc. had taken down existing billboards and converted 83 existing signs from static displays to digital displays.  In 2009 the Los Angeles Superior Court ruled that the settlement agreement constituted an ultra vires act of the City, and nullified its existence.  After further proceedings, on April 12, 2013 the Los Angeles Superior Court invalidated 82 digital modernization permits issued to Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc. (77 of which displays were operating at the time of the ruling), and Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc. was required to turn off the electrical power to all affected digital displays on April 15, 2013.  The digital display structures remain intact but digital displays are currently prohibited in the City.  Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc. is seeking permits under the existing City sign code to either wrap the LED faces with vinyl or convert the LED faces to traditional static signs, and has obtained a number of such permits.  Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc. is also pursuing a new ordinance to permit digital signage in the City.

  

 

ITEM 4.  MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not Applicable.

 

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE REGISTRANT

 

The following information with respect to our executive officers is presented as of February 19, 2015:

 

Name

 

Age

 

Position

Robert W. Pittman

 

61

 

Executive Chairman and Director

C. William Eccleshare

 

59

 

Chief Executive Officer

Richard J. Bressler

 

57

 

Chief Financial Officer

Steven J. Macri

 

46

 

Senior Vice President-Finance

Scott D. Hamilton

 

45

 

Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Assistant Secretary

Robert H. Walls, Jr.

 

54

 

Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary

 

 

 

 

 

 

The officers named above serve until their respective successors are elected and qualified, in each case unless the officer sooner dies, resigns or is removed.

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Robert W. Pittman was appointed as our Executive Chairman and a director of ours and as Chief Executive Officer and a director of iHeartMedia and iHeartCommunications on October 2, 2011.  He was appointed as Chairman of iHeartMedia and iHeartCommunications on May 17, 2013. He also was appointed as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of managers of iHeartMedia Capital I, LLC, a subsidiary of iHeartMedia and iHeartCommunications, on April 26, 2013.  Prior to October 2, 2011, Mr. Pittman served as Chairman of Media and Entertainment Platforms for iHeartMedia and iHeartCommunications since November 2010. He has been a member of, and an investor in, Pilot Group, a private equity investment company, since April 2003. Mr. Pittman was formerly Chief Operating Officer of AOL Time Warner, Inc. from May 2002 to July 2002. He also served as Co-Chief Operating Officer of AOL Time Warner, Inc. from January 2001 to May 2002, and earlier, as President and Chief Operating Officer of America Online, Inc. from February 1998 to January 2001. Mr. Pittman serves on the boards of numerous charitable organizations, including the Alliance for Lupus Research, the New York City Ballet, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation and the Robin Hood Foundation, where he has served as past Chairman.

 

C. William Eccleshare was appointed as our Chief Executive Officer and as Chief Executive Officer—Outdoor of iHeartMedia and iHeartCommunications on January 24, 2012.  He also was appointed as Chief Executive Officer—Outdoor of iHeartMedia Capital I, LLC on April 26, 2013.  Prior to January 24, 2012, he served as Chief Executive Officer—International of ours since September 1, 2009 and as Chief Executive Officer—Clear Channel Outdoor—International of iHeartMedia and iHeartCommunications since February 17, 2011.  Previously, he was Chairman and CEO of BBDO EMEA from 2005 to 2009.  Prior thereto, he was Chairman and CEO of Young & Rubicam EMEA since 2002.

 

Richard J. Bressler was appointed as our Chief Financial Officer and as President and Chief Financial Officer of iHeartMedia, iHeartCommunications and iHeartMedia Capital I, LLC on July 29, 2013. Prior thereto, Mr. Bressler was a Managing Director at Thomas H Lee Partners, L.P. (“THL”). Prior to joining THL, Mr. Bressler was the Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Viacom, Inc. from 2001 through 2005. He also served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Time Warner Digital Media and, from 1995 to 1999, was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Time Warner Inc. Prior to joining Time Inc. in 1988, Mr. Bressler was a partner with the accounting firm of Ernst & Young LLP since 1979. Mr. Bressler also currently is a director of iHeartMedia, iHeartCommunications and Gartner, Inc., a member of the board of managers of iHeartMedia Capital I, LLC and a board observer at Univision Communications Inc.  Mr. Bressler previously served as a member of the board of directors of American Media Operations, Inc., Nielsen Holdings B.V. and Warner Music Group Corp. and as a member of the J.P. Morgan Chase National Advisory Board. Mr. Bressler holds a B.B.A. in Accounting from Adelphi University.

 

Steven J. Macri was appointed as the Senior Vice President-Finance of iHeartMedia, iHeartMedia Capital I, LLC, iHeartCommunications and Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. on September 9, 2014.  Prior thereto, Mr. Macri served as the chief financial officer of the company’s iHeartMedia division from October 7, 2013, a position he still holds.  Prior to joining the company, Mr. Macri served as Chief Financial Officer for LogicSource Inc., from March 2012 to September 2013.  Prior to joining LogicSource, Mr. Macri was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Warner Music Group Corp. from September 2008 to December 2011 and prior thereto served as Controller and Senior Vice President-Finance from February 2005 to August 2008.

 

Scott D. Hamilton was appointed as our Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Assistant Secretary and as Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Assistant Secretary of iHeartMedia and iHeartCommunications on April 26, 2010.  He also was appointed as Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Assistant Secretary of iHeartMedia Capital I, LLC on April 26, 2013.  Prior to April 26, 2010, Mr. Hamilton served as Controller and Chief Accounting Officer of Avaya Inc. (“Avaya”), a multinational telecommunications company, from October 2008 to April 2010.  Prior thereto, Mr. Hamilton served in various accounting and finance positions at Avaya, beginning in October 2004.  Prior thereto, Mr. Hamilton was employed by PricewaterhouseCoopers from September 1992 until September 2004 in various roles including audit, transaction services and technical accounting consulting. 

 

Robert H. Walls, Jr. was appointed as our Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary and as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of iHeartMedia and iHeartCommunications on January 1, 2010.  He also was appointed as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of iHeartMedia Capital I, LLC on April 26, 2013.  On March 31, 2011, Mr. Walls was appointed to serve in the newly-created Office of the Chief Executive Officer for us, iHeartMedia and iHeartCommunications, in addition to his existing offices.  Mr. Walls served in the Office of the Chief Executive Officer for us until January 24, 2012 and served in the Office of the Chief Executive Officer for iHeartMedia and iHeartCommunications until October 2, 2011.  Mr. Walls was a founding partner of Post Oak Energy Capital, LP and served as Managing Director through December 31, 2009, and remains an advisor to Post Oak Energy Capital, LP.

22


 

PART II

 

ITEM 5.  MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

Market Information

Shares of our Class A common stock trade on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the symbol “CCO.”  There were 75 stockholders of record as of February 3, 2015.  This figure does not include an estimate of the indeterminate number of beneficial holders whose shares may be held of record by brokerage firms and clearing agencies.  The following table sets forth, for the calendar quarters indicated, the reported high and low sales prices of our Class A common stock as reported on the NYSE:

 

 

 

Class A

Common Stock Market Price

 

 

Class A

Common Stock Market Price

 

High

Low

 

 

High

Low

2014

 

 

 

2013

 

 

First Quarter................

$10.35

$8.89

 

First Quarter..................

$7.88

$6.84

Second Quarter...........

9.14

7.90

 

Second Quarter.............

8.75

7.02

Third Quarter..............

7.70

6.74

 

Third Quarter................

8.21

7.14

Fourth Quarter............

10.59

6.34

 

Fourth Quarter..............

10.69

8.20

 

There is no established public trading market for our Class B common stock.  There were 315,000,000 shares of our Class B common stock outstanding on February 3, 2015.  iHeartCommunications indirectly holds all of the shares of Class B common stock outstanding and a portion of the shares of Class A common stock outstanding, representing slightly less than 90% of the shares outstanding and approximately 99% of the voting power.  The holders of our Class A common stock and Class B common stock have identical rights, except holders of our Class A common stock are entitled to one vote per share while holders of Class B common stock are entitled to 20 votes per share.  The shares of Class B common stock are convertible, at the option of the holder at any time or upon any transfer, into shares of Class A common stock on a one-for-one basis, subject to certain limited exceptions.

 

Dividend Policy

On March 15, 2012, we paid a special dividend in an amount equal to $6.0832 per share to the holders of record of our Class A and Class B common stock at the close of business on March 12, 2012 and, on November 8, 2013, in connection with the settlement of the derivative litigation related to the Due from iHeartCommunications note, we paid a special dividend in an amount equal to $0.5578 per share to the holders of record of our Class A and Class B common stock at the close of business on November 5, 2013.  On August 11, 2014 we paid a special dividend in an amount equal to $0.4865 per share to the holders of record of our Class A and Class B common stock at the close of business on August 4, 2014.  Other than the special dividends paid by us on March 15, 2012, November 8, 2013, and August 11, 2014 we have never paid dividends on our common stock and our ability to pay dividends on our common stock is subject to restrictions should we seek to do so in the future.

 

We are a holding company with no independent operations and no significant assets other than the stock of our subsidiaries and the Due from iHeartCommunications note.  We, therefore, are dependent on the receipt of dividends or other distributions from our subsidiaries or repayment by iHeartCommunications of amounts outstanding under the Due from iHeartCommunications note to pay dividends.  On October 19, 2013, in accordance with the terms of the derivative litigation settlement, we established a committee of our board of directors for the specific purpose of monitoring the Due from iHeartCommunications note.  The committee has the non-exclusive authority pursuant to a committee charter to demand repayment under the Due from iHeartCommunications note under certain circumstances related to iHeartCommunications’ liquidity or the amount outstanding under the Due from iHeartCommunications note as long as our board of directors declares a simultaneous dividend equal to the amount so demanded.

 

In addition, the agreements governing our indebtedness contain restrictions on our ability to pay dividends.  If we were to declare and pay cash dividends in the future, holders of our Class A common stock and Class B common stock would share equally, on a per share basis, in any such cash dividend.  See “Item 7.  Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Liquidity and Capital Resources—Sources of Capital” and Note 5 to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

Sales of Unregistered Securities

We did not sell any equity securities during 2014 that were not registered under the Securities Act of 1933.

 

23


 

Purchases of Equity Securities

The following table sets forth the purchases made during the quarter ended December 31, 2014 by or on behalf of us or an affiliated purchaser of shares of our Class A common stock registered pursuant to Section 12 of the Exchange Act:

 

Period

 

Total Number of Shares Purchased

 

Average Price Paid per Share

 

Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or Programs

 

Maximum Number (or Approximate Dollar Value) of Shares that May Yet Be Purchased Under the Plans or Programs

October 1 through October 31

 

-

 

$        -

 

-

 

$

 (1) 

November 1 through November 30

 

-

 

               -

 

-

 

 

 (1) 

December 1 through December 31

 

5,000,000

 

         9.75

 

5,000,000

 

         34,184,424

 (1) 

Total

 

5,000,000

 

     $  9.75

 

5,000,000

 

$                              34,184,424

 (1) 

 

(1)             On August 9, 2010, iHeartCommunications announced that its board of directors approved a stock purchase program under which iHeartCommunications or its subsidiaries may purchase up to an aggregate of $100 million of our Class A common stock and/or the Class A common stock of iHeartMedia.  During 2014, a subsidiary of iHeartCommunications purchased 5,000,000 shares of our Class A common stock for approximately $48.8 million.  During 2011, a subsidiary of iHeartCommunications purchased 1,553,971 shares of our Class A common stock for approximately $16.4 million in open market purchases.  During 2012, a subsidiary of iHeartCommunications purchased 111,291 shares of the Class A common stock of iHeartMedia for approximately $0.7 million under the stock purchase program.  As a result of these purchases of shares of the Class A common stock of iHeartMedia and our Class A common stock, as of December 31, 2014, an aggregate of $34.2 million was available under the stock purchase program to purchase the Class A common stock of iHeartMedia and/or our Class A common stock. The stock purchase program does not have a fixed expiration date and may be modified, suspended or terminated at any time at iHeartCommunications’ discretion.  On January 7, 2015 a subsidiary of iHeartCommunications purchased an additional 2,000,000 shares of our Class A common stock at a price of $10.20 per share, or $20.4 million total purchase price.

24


 

ITEM 6.  Selected Financial Data

 

The following tables set forth our summary historical consolidated financial and other data as of the dates and for the periods indicated. The summary historical financial data are derived from our audited consolidated financial statements. Certain prior period amounts have been reclassified to conform to the 2014 presentation.  Historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected for future periods.  Acquisitions and dispositions impact the comparability of the historical consolidated financial data reflected in this schedule of Selected Financial Data.

 

The summary historical consolidated financial and other data should be read in conjunction with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our consolidated financial statements and the related notes thereto located within Item 8 of Part II of  this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

(In thousands)

For the Years Ended December 31,

 

 

2014

 

2013

 

2012

 

2011

 

2010

Results of Operations Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue

$

 2,961,259  

 

$

 2,946,190  

 

$

 2,946,944  

 

$

 3,003,874  

 

$

 2,797,994  

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Direct operating expenses (excludes

   depreciation and amortization)

 

 1,596,888  

 

 

 1,594,728  

 

 

 1,603,492  

 

 

 1,630,875  

 

 

 1,551,216  

 

Selling, general and administrative expenses

   (excludes depreciation and amortization)

 

 548,519  

 

 

 543,572  

 

 

 574,662  

 

 

 538,032  

 

 

 491,459  

 

Corporate expenses (excludes depreciation

   and amortization)

 

 130,894  

 

 

 124,399  

 

 

 115,832  

 

 

 100,971  

 

 

 119,549  

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

 406,243  

 

 

 403,170  

 

 

 399,264  

 

 

 432,035  

 

 

 413,588  

 

Impairment charges (1)

 

 3,530  

 

 

 13,150  

 

 

 37,651  

 

 

 7,614  

 

 

 11,493  

 

Other operating income (expense), net

 

 7,259  

 

 

 22,979  

 

 

 50,943  

 

 

 8,591  

 

 

 (23,753) 

Operating income

 

 282,444  

 

 

 290,150  

 

 

 266,986  

 

 

 302,938  

 

 

 186,936  

Interest expense, net (including interest income

   on Due from iHeartCommunications)

 

 293,086  

 

 

 298,573  

 

 

 310,115  

 

 

 196,976  

 

 

 219,993  

Loss on marketable securities

 

 -  

 

 

 (18) 

 

 

 (2,578) 

 

 

 (4,827) 

 

 

 (6,490) 

Equity in earnings (loss) of nonconsolidated

   affiliates

 

 3,789  

 

 

 (2,092) 

 

 

 843  

 

 

 6,029  

 

 

 (9,936) 

Loss on extinguishment of debt

 

 -  

 

 

 -  

 

 

 (221,071) 

 

 

 -  

 

 

 -  

Other income (expense), net

 

 15,185  

 

 

 1,016  

 

 

 (364) 

 

 

 (649) 

 

 

 (5,335) 

Income (loss) before income taxes

 

 8,332  

 

 

 (9,517) 

 

 

 (266,299) 

 

 

 106,515  

 

 

 (54,818) 

Income tax benefit (expense)

 

 8,787  

 

 

 (14,809) 

 

 

 107,089  

 

 

 (43,296) 

 

 

 (21,599) 

Consolidated net income (loss)

 

 17,119  

 

 

 (24,326) 

 

 

 (159,210) 

 

 

 63,219  

 

 

 (76,417) 

 

Less amount attributable to noncontrolling

   interest

 

 26,709  

 

 

 24,134  

 

 

 23,902  

 

 

 20,273  

 

 

 11,106  

Net income (loss) attributable to the Company

$

 (9,590) 

 

$

 (48,460) 

 

$

 (183,112) 

 

$

 42,946  

 

$

 (87,523) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income (loss) attributable to the

   Company per common share:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

$

 (0.03) 

 

$

 (0.14) 

 

$

 (0.54) 

 

$

 0.11  

 

$

 (0.26) 

 

Weighted average common shares

 

 358,565  

 

 

 357,662  

 

 

 356,915  

 

 

 355,907  

 

 

 355,568  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diluted

$

 (0.03) 

 

$

 (0.14) 

 

$

 (0.54) 

 

$

 0.11  

 

$

 (0.26) 

 

Weighted average common shares

 

 358,565  

 

 

 357,662  

 

 

 356,915  

 

 

 356,528  

 

 

 355,568  

                                 



 

25


 

(In thousands)

As of December 31,

 

2014

 

2013

 

2012

 

2011

 

2010

Balance Sheet Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current assets

$

 1,079,949  

 

$

 1,238,428  

 

$

 1,509,346  

 

$

 1,453,728  

 

$

 1,550,493  

Property, plant and equipment, net

 

 1,905,651  

 

 

 2,081,098  

 

 

 2,207,744  

 

 

 2,246,710  

 

 

 2,297,724  

Total assets

 

 6,362,411  

 

 

 6,759,392  

 

 

 7,105,782  

 

 

 7,088,185  

 

 

 7,076,565  

Current liabilities

 

 717,829  

 

 

 773,590  

 

 

 811,405  

 

 

 720,983  

 

 

 765,936  

Long-term debt, including current maturities

 

 4,933,929  

 

 

 4,935,376  

 

 

 4,944,795  

 

 

 2,545,909  

 

 

 2,563,809  

Shareholders’ equity (deficit)

 

(140,941)

 

 

 160,108  

 

 

 446,089  

 

 

 2,740,227  

 

 

 2,708,055  

 

(1)     We recorded non-cash impairment charges of $3.5 million, $13.2 million, $37.7 million, $7.6 million, and $11.5 million during 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively. Our impairment charges are discussed more fully in Item 8 of Part II of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

26


  

ITEM 7.  MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

OVERVIEW

Format of Presentation

Management’s discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations (“MD&A”) should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and related footnotes.  Our discussion is presented on both a consolidated and segment basis.  Our reportable operating segments are Americas outdoor advertising (“Americas”) and International outdoor advertising (“International”).  Our Americas and International segments provide outdoor advertising services in their respective geographic regions using various digital and traditional display types.

 

We manage our operating segments primarily focusing on their operating income, while Corporate expenses, Impairment charges, Other operating income, net, Interest expense, Interest income on Due from iHeartCommunications, Loss on marketable securities, Equity in earnings (loss) of nonconsolidated affiliates, Loss on extinguishment of debt, Gain (loss) on extinguishment of debt, Other income (expense), net and Income tax benefit (expense) are managed on a total company basis and are, therefore, included only in our discussion of consolidated results.

 

Certain prior period amounts have been reclassified to conform to the 2014 presentation.

 

Description of Our Business

Our revenue is derived from selling advertising space on the displays we own or operate in key markets worldwide, consisting primarily of billboards, street furniture and transit displays.  Part of our long-term strategy is to pursue the technology of digital displays, including flat screens, LCDs and LEDs, as additions to traditional methods of displaying our clients’ advertisements. We are currently installing these technologies in certain markets, both domestically and internationally.

 

We own the majority of our advertising displays, which typically are located on sites that we either lease or own or for which we have acquired permanent easements.  Our advertising contracts with clients typically outline the number of displays reserved, the duration of the advertising campaign and the unit price per display.

 

Management typically monitors our business by reviewing the average rates, average revenue per display, occupancy, and inventory levels of each of our display types by market.

 

The significant expenses associated with our operations include (i) direct production, maintenance and installation expenses, (ii) site lease expenses for land under our displays and (iii) revenue-sharing or minimum guaranteed amounts payable under our billboard, street furniture and transit display contracts.  Our direct production, maintenance and installation expenses include costs for printing, transporting and changing the advertising copy on our displays, the related labor costs, the vinyl and paper costs, electricity costs and the costs for cleaning and maintaining our displays.  Vinyl and paper costs vary according to the complexity of the advertising copy and the quantity of displays.  Our site lease expenses include lease payments for use of the land under our displays, as well as any revenue-sharing arrangements or minimum guaranteed amounts payable that we may have with the landlords.  The terms of our site leases and revenue-sharing or minimum guaranteed contracts generally range from one to 20 years.

 

Americas

Our advertising rates are based on a number of different factors including location, competition, type and size of display, illumination, market and gross ratings points.  Gross ratings points are the total number of impressions delivered by a display or group of displays, expressed as a percentage of a market population.  The number of impressions delivered by a display is measured by the number of people passing the site during a defined period of time.  For all of our billboards in the United States, we use independent, third-party auditing companies to verify the number of impressions delivered by a display.

 

Client contract terms typically range from four weeks to one year for the majority of our display inventory in the United States.  Generally, we own the street furniture structures and are responsible for their construction and maintenance.  Contracts for the right to place our street furniture and transit displays and sell advertising space on them are awarded by municipal and transit authorities in competitive bidding processes governed by local law or are negotiated with private transit operators.  Generally, these contracts have terms ranging from 10 to 20 years.

 

27


  

International

Similar to our Americas business, advertising rates generally are based on the gross ratings points of a display or group of displays. The number of impressions delivered by a display, in some countries, is weighted to account for such factors as illumination, proximity to other displays and the speed and viewing angle of approaching traffic.  In addition, because our International advertising operations are conducted in foreign markets, including Europe, Asia, Australia and Latin America, management reviews the operating results from our foreign operations on a constant dollar basis.  A constant dollar basis allows for comparison of operations independent of foreign exchange movements.

 

Our International display inventory is typically sold to clients through network packages, with client contract terms typically ranging from one to two weeks with terms of up to one year available as well.  Internationally, contracts with municipal and transit authorities for the right to place our street furniture and transit displays typically provide for terms ranging from three to 15 years. The major difference between our International and Americas street furniture businesses is in the nature of the municipal contracts.  In our International business, these contracts typically require us to provide the municipality with a broader range of metropolitan amenities in exchange for which we are authorized to sell advertising space on certain sections of the structures we erect in the public domain.  A different regulatory environment for billboards and competitive bidding for street furniture and transit display contracts, which constitute a larger portion of our business internationally, may result in higher site lease costs in our International business.  As a result, our margins are typically lower in our International business than in our Americas business.

 

Macroeconomic Indicators

Our advertising revenue for our Americas and International segments is highly correlated to changes in gross domestic product (“GDP”) as advertising spending has historically trended in line with GDP. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, estimated U.S. GDP growth for 2014 was 2.4%. Internationally, our results are impacted by fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates as well as the economic conditions in the foreign markets in which we have operations.

 

Relationship with iHeartCommunications

There are several agreements which govern our relationship with iHeartCommunications including the Master Agreement, Corporate Services Agreement, Employee Matters Agreement and Tax Matters Agreement.  iHeartCommunications has the right to terminate these agreements in various circumstances.  As of the date of the filing of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, no notice of termination of any of these agreements has been received from iHeartCommunications.  Our agreements with iHeartCommunications continue under the same terms and conditions subsequent to iHeartCommunications’ merger.

 

In accordance with the Master Agreement, our branch managers follow a corporate policy allowing iHeartCommunications to use, without charge, Americas’ displays they believe would otherwise be unsold.  Our sales personnel receive partial credit for that usage for compensation purposes.  This partial credit is based on expenses incurred.  iHeartCommunications bears the cost of producing the advertising and we bear the costs of installing and removing this advertising.  In 2014, we estimated this expense to be less than 1% of our Americas expenses.

 

Under the Corporate Services Agreement, iHeartCommunications provides management services to us.  These services are charged to us based on actual direct costs incurred or allocated by iHeartCommunications based on headcount, revenue or other factors on a pro rata basis.  For the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012, we recorded approximately $31.2 million, $35.4 million, and $35.9 million, respectively, as a component of corporate expenses for these services.

 

On August 9, 2010, iHeartCommunications announced that its board of directors approved a stock purchase program under which iHeartCommunications or its subsidiaries may purchase up to an aggregate of $100 million of our Class A common stock and/or the Class A common stock of iHeartMedia.  During 2011, a subsidiary of iHeartCommunications purchased $16.4 million of our Class A common stock (1,553,971 shares) through open market purchases.  During 2012, a subsidiary of iHeartCommunications purchased $0.7 million of the Class A common stock of iHeartMedia.  During 2014, a subsidiary of iHeartCommunications purchased $48.8 million of our Class A common stock (5,000,000 shares), leaving an aggregate of $34.2 million available under the stock purchase program to purchase the Class A common stock of iHeartMedia and/or our Class A common stock as of December 31, 2014.  On January 7, 2015 the subsidiary purchased an additional $20.4 million of our Class A common stock (2,000,000 shares). The stock purchase program does not have a fixed expiration date and may be modified, suspended or terminated at any time at iHeartCommunications’ discretion.

 

Executive Summary

The key developments in our business for the year ended December 31, 2014 are summarized below:

28


  

·  Consolidated revenue increased $15.1 million including a decrease of $22.7 million from movements in foreign exchange during 2014 compared to 2013. Excluding foreign exchange impacts, consolidated revenue increased $37.8 million over the comparable period of 2013.

·  Americas revenue decreased $37.3 million compared to 2013, including a decrease of $3.4 million from movements in foreign exchange. Excluding foreign exchange impacts, revenue decreased $33.9 million over 2013 primarily driven by lower national advertising revenues.

·  International revenue increased $52.3 million compared to 2013, including a decrease of $19.3 million from movements in foreign exchange. Excluding foreign exchange impacts, revenue increased $71.6 million compared to 2013 primarily driven by growth in both Europe and emerging markets.

·  We spent $30.2 million on strategic revenue and cost-saving initiatives during 2014 to realign and improve our on-going business operations—a decrease of $6.2 million compared to 2013.

 

RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

Consolidated Results of Operations

The comparison of our historical results of operations for the year ended December 31, 2014 to the year ended December 31, 2013 is as follows:

 

(In thousands)

Years Ended December 31,

 

%

 

 

2014

 

2013

 

Change

Revenue

$

 2,961,259  

 

$

 2,946,190  

 

 1%  

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Direct operating expenses (excludes depreciation and amortization)

 

 1,596,888  

 

 

 1,594,728  

 

 0%  

 

 Selling, general and administrative expenses (excludes depreciation and

   amortization)

 

 548,519  

 

 

 543,572  

 

 1%  

 

Corporate expenses (excludes depreciation and amortization)

 

 130,894  

 

 

 124,399  

 

 5%  

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

 406,243  

 

 

 403,170  

 

 1%  

 

Impairment charges

 

 3,530  

 

 

 13,150  

 

 (73%) 

 

Other operating income, net

 

 7,259  

 

 

 22,979  

 

 (68%) 

Operating income

 

 282,444  

 

 

 290,150  

 

 (3%) 

Interest expense

 

 353,265  

 

 

 352,783  

 

 

Interest income on Due from iHeartCommunications

 

 60,179  

 

 

 54,210  

 

 

Loss on marketable securities

 

 -    

 

 

 (18) 

 

 

Equity in earnings (loss) of nonconsolidated affiliates

 

 3,789  

 

 

 (2,092) 

 

 

Other income, net

 

 15,185  

 

 

 1,016  

 

 

Income (loss) before income taxes

 

 8,332  

 

 

 (9,517) 

 

 

Income tax benefit (expense)

 

 8,787  

 

 

 (14,809) 

 

 

Consolidated net loss

 

 17,119  

 

 

 (24,326) 

 

 

 

Less amount attributable to noncontrolling interest

 26,709  

 

 

 24,134  

 

 

Net loss attributable to the Company

$

 (9,590) 

 

$

 (48,460) 

 

 

 

Consolidated Revenue

Our consolidated revenue increased $15.1 million including a decrease of $22.7 million from movements in foreign exchange during 2014 compared to 2013. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange movements, consolidated revenue increased $37.8 million. Americas revenue decreased $37.3 million compared to 2013, including negative movements in foreign exchange of $3.4 million. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange movements, Americas revenue decreased $33.9 million primarily driven by lower revenues generated by national accounts and the nonrenewal of certain airport contracts, and lower revenues in our Los Angeles market as a result of the impact of litigation. Our International revenue increased $52.3 million compared to 2013, including negative movements in foreign exchange of $19.3 million. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange movements, International revenue increased $71.6 million primarily driven by new contracts and from growth in Europe and emerging markets.

 

Consolidated Direct Operating Expenses

Consolidated direct operating expenses during 2014 increased $2.2 million including a decrease of $11.9 million from movements in foreign exchange compared to 2013. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange movements, consolidated direct

29


  

operating expenses increased $14.1 million. Direct operating expenses in our Americas segment decreased $11.1 million compared to 2013, including a decrease of $2.5 million from movements in foreign exchange. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange movements, direct operating expenses in our Americas segment decreased $8.6 million, primarily due to lower site lease expenses related to the decrease in revenues and from the nonrenewal of certain airport contracts. Direct operating expenses in our International segment increased $13.2 million compared to 2013, including a decrease of $9.4 million from movements in foreign exchange. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange movements, direct operating expenses in our International segment increased $22.6 million primarily as a result of higher variable costs associated with new contracts.

 

Consolidated Selling, General and Administrative (“SG&A”) Expenses

Consolidated SG&A expenses during 2014 increased $4.9 million including a decrease of $4.5 million from movements in foreign exchange compared to 2013. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange movements, consolidated SG&A expenses increased $9.4 million. SG&A expenses decreased $8.8 million in our Americas segment including a decrease of $0.4 million from movements in foreign exchange compared to 2013. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange movements, SG&A expenses in our Americas segment decreased $8.4 million primarily due to lower commission expense in connection with lower revenues and property tax refunds. Our International SG&A expenses increased $13.7 million compared to 2013, including a $4.1 million decrease due to the effects of movements in foreign exchange. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange movements, SG&A expenses in our International segment increased $17.8 million primarily due to higher compensation expense, including commissions, in connection with higher revenues, as well as higher litigation expenses.

 

Corporate Expenses

Corporate expenses increased $6.5 million during 2014 compared to 2013 primarily due to higher spending on strategic revenue and efficiency costs.

 

Revenue and Efficiency Initiatives

Included in the amounts for direct operating expenses, SG&A and corporate expenses discussed above are expenses of $30.2 million incurred in connection with our strategic revenue and efficiency initiatives. The costs were incurred to improve revenue growth, enhance yield, reduce costs, and organize each business to maximize performance and profitability.  These costs consist primarily of consulting expenses, consolidation of locations and positions, severance related to workforce initiatives and other costs incurred in connection with streamlining our businesses. These costs are expected to provide benefits in future periods as the initiative results are realized.  Of these costs, $3.5 million are reported within direct operating expenses, $6.7 million are reported within SG&A and $20.0 million are reported within corporate expense.  In 2013, such costs totaled $12.5 million, $12.2 million, and $11.7 million, respectively.

 

Depreciation and Amortization

Depreciation and amortization increased $3.1 million during 2014 compared to 2013 primarily due to purchases of property, plant, & equipment.

 

Impairment Charges

We performed our annual impairment tests as of October 1, 2014 and 2013 on our goodwill, billboard permits, and other intangible assets and recorded impairment charges of $3.5 million and $13.2 million, respectively.  During 2014, we recognized a $3.5 million other intangible assets impairment charge in our Americas segment primarily related to a decline in the estimated fair value of permanent easements in two markets.  During 2013, we recognized a $10.7 million goodwill impairment charge in our International segment related to a decline in the estimated fair value of one market.  Please see Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements included in Item 8 of Part II of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a further description of the impairment charges.

 

Other Operating Income, Net

Other operating income, net of $7.3 million in 2014 primarily related to the gain on the sale of certain outdoor assets in our Americas segments.

 

Other operating income, net of $23.0 million in 2013 primarily related to the gain on the sale of certain outdoor assets in our Americas segment.

 

Interest Expense

Interest expense increased $0.5 million in 2014 compared to 2013.

30


  

 

Interest Income on Due From iHeartCommunications

Interest income increased $6.0 million during 2014 compared to 2013 due to the increase in the average outstanding balance.

 

Equity In Earnings (Loss) Of Nonconsolidated Affiliates

Equity in earnings of nonconsolidated affiliates of $3.8 million for 2014 included the earnings from our equity investments in our Americas and International segments.

 

Equity in loss of nonconsolidated affiliates of $2.1 million for 2013 included the loss from our equity investments in our International segment.

 

Other Income, Net

Other income of $15.2 million for 2014 primarily related to foreign exchange gains on short-term intercompany accounts.

 

Other income of $1.0 million for 2013 primarily related to $1.7 million in foreign exchange gains on short-term intercompany accounts partially offset by miscellaneous expenses of $0.7 million.

 

Income Tax Benefit (Expense)

Our operations are included in a consolidated income tax return filed by iHeartMedia.  However, for our financial statements, our provision for income taxes was computed as if we file separate consolidated federal income tax returns with our subsidiaries.

 

The effective tax rate for 2014 was (105.5%), primarily impacted by our benefits and charges from tax amounts associated with our foreign earnings that are taxed at rates different from the federal statutory rate and an inability to benefit from losses in certain foreign jurisdictions.  In addition, we recorded $20.0 million in net tax benefits associated with a decrease in unrecognized tax benefits resulting from the expiration of statutes of limitations to assess taxes in the United Kingdom and several state jurisdictions.   

 

The effective tax rate for 2013 was (155.6%), primarily impacted by our benefits and charges from tax amounts associated with our foreign earnings that are taxed at rates different from the federal statutory rate and an inability to benefit from losses in certain foreign jurisdictions.  In addition, we recorded additional foreign deferred tax expense of $3.4 million on certain foreign earnings that are expected to be distributed in future periods from our Asia subsidiaries on which foreign withholding and other taxes have not previously been provided.

 

Americas Outdoor Advertising Results of Operations

 

Our Americas outdoor operating results were as follows:

 

(In thousands)

Years Ended December 31,

 

%

 

2014

 

2013

 

Change

Revenue

$

 1,253,190  

 

$

 1,290,452  

 

 (3%) 

Direct operating expenses

 

 555,614  

 

 

 566,669  

 

 (2%) 

SG&A expenses

 

 211,969  

 

 

 220,732  

 

 (4%) 

Depreciation and amortization

 

 194,640  

 

 

 196,597  

 

 (1%) 

Operating income

$

 290,967  

 

$

 306,454  

 

 (5%) 

 

Our Americas revenue decreased $37.3 million compared to 2013, including negative movements in foreign exchange of $3.4 million. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange movements, Americas revenue decreased $33.9 million driven primarily by lower spending by national accounts and the nonrenewal of certain airport contracts. Revenues were also lower in our Los Angeles market as a result of the impact of litigation as discussed further in Item 3 of Part I of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

Direct operating expenses decreased $11.1 million compared to 2013, including a decrease of $2.5 million from movements in foreign exchange. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange movements, direct operating expenses in our Americas segment decreased $8.6 million, primarily due to lower site lease expenses related to the decrease in revenues and from the nonrenewal of certain airport contracts. SG&A expenses decreased $8.8 million compared to 2013, including a decrease of $0.4 million from movements in foreign exchange. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange movements, SG&A expenses in our Americas segment decreased $8.4 million primarily due to lower commission expense in connection with lower revenues and property tax refunds.

31


  

 

International Outdoor Advertising Results of Operations

Our International operating results were as follows:

 

(In thousands)

Years Ended December 31,

 

%

 

2014

 

2013

 

Change

Revenue

$

 1,708,069  

 

$

 1,655,738  

 

 3%  

Direct operating expenses

 

 1,041,274  

 

 

 1,028,059  

 

 1%  

SG&A expenses

 

 336,550  

 

 

 322,840  

 

 4%  

Depreciation and amortization

 

 207,431  

 

 

 203,927  

 

 2%  

Operating income

$

 122,814  

 

$

 100,912  

 

 22%  

 

International revenue increased $52.3 million compared to 2013, including a decrease of $19.3 million from movements in foreign exchange. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange movements, revenues increased $71.6 million primarily driven by revenue growth in Europe including Italy, due to a new contract for the Rome airports, as well as Sweden, France, and the UK. Revenue in emerging markets also increased, particularly in China and Mexico primarily as a result of new contracts.

 

Direct operating expenses increased $13.2 million compared to 2013, including a decrease of $9.4 million from movements in foreign exchange. Excluding the impact of movements in foreign exchange, direct operating expenses increased $22.6 million primarily as a result of higher variable costs associated with new contracts, including the Rome airports contract in Italy. SG&A expenses increased $13.7 million compared to 2013, including a decrease of $4.1 million from movements in foreign exchange. Excluding the impact of movements in foreign exchange, SG&A expenses increased $17.8 million primarily due to higher compensation expense, including commissions, in connection with higher revenues, as well as higher litigation expenses.

 

 

 

32


  

Consolidated Results of Operations

The comparison of our historical results of operations for the year ended December 31, 2013 to the year ended December 31, 2012 is as follows:

 

(In thousands)

Years Ended December 31,

 

%

 

 

 

2013

 

 

2012

 

Change

Revenue

$

 2,946,190  

 

$

 2,946,944  

 

 (0%) 

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Direct operating expenses (excludes depreciation and amortization)

 

 1,594,728  

 

 

 1,603,492  

 

 (1%) 

 

Selling, general and administrative expenses (excludes depreciation and

   amortization)

 

 543,572  

 

 

 574,662  

 

 (5%) 

 

Corporate expenses (excludes depreciation and amortization)

 

 124,399  

 

 

 115,832  

 

 7%  

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

 403,170  

 

 

 399,264  

 

 1%  

 

Impairment charges

 

 13,150  

 

 

 37,651  

 

 (65%) 

 

Other operating income, net

 

 22,979  

 

 

 50,943  

 

 (55%) 

Operating income

 

 290,150  

 

 

 266,986  

 

 9%  

Interest expense

 

 352,783  

 

 

 373,876  

 

 

Interest income on Due from iHeartCommunications

 54,210  

 

 

 63,761  

 

 

Loss on marketable securities

 

 (18) 

 

 

 (2,578) 

 

 

Equity in earnings (loss) of nonconsolidated affiliates

 

 (2,092) 

 

 

 843  

 

 

Loss on extinguishment of debt

 

 -  

 

 

 (221,071) 

 

 

Other income (expense), net

 

 1,016  

 

 

 (364) 

 

 

Loss before income taxes

 

 (9,517) 

 

 

 (266,299) 

 

 

Income tax benefit (expense)

 

 (14,809) 

 

 

 107,089  

 

 

Consolidated loss

 

 (24,326) 

 

 

 (159,210) 

 

 

 

Less amount attributable to noncontrolling interest

 

 24,134  

 

 

 23,902  

 

 

Net loss attributable to the Company

$

 (48,460) 

 

$

 (183,112) 

 

 

 

Consolidated Revenue

Our consolidated revenue decreased $0.8 million including the increase of $3.5 million from the impact of movements in foreign exchange compared to 2012.  Excluding the impact of foreign exchange movements and $20.4 million impact of our divestiture of our international neon business during 2012, revenue increased $16.1 million.  Americas revenue increased $11.2 million, driven primarily by bulletin revenue growth as a result of increases in occupancy, capacity and rates in our traditional and digital product lines.  International revenue decreased $11.9 million including the impact of favorable movements in foreign exchange of $5.2 million compared to 2012.  Excluding the impact of foreign exchange movements and the $20.4 million impact of our divestiture of our international neon business during 2012, International revenue increased $3.3 million.  Declines in certain countries as a result of weakened macroeconomic conditions were partially offset by growth in street furniture and billboard revenue in other countries.

 

Consolidated Direct Operating Expenses

Direct operating expenses decreased $8.8 million including an increase of $3.6 million due to the effects of movements in foreign exchange compared to 2012 and the impact of our divestiture of our international neon business of $13.0 million during 2012.  Americas direct operating expenses decreased $15.7 million, primarily due to decreased site lease expense associated with declining revenues of some of our lower-margin product lines.  Direct operating expenses in our International segment increased $6.9 million, including a $4.8 million increase due to the effects of movements in foreign exchange.  The increase in expense excluding the impact of movements in foreign exchange and $13.0 million impact of our divestiture of our international neon business during 2012 was primarily driven by higher site lease and other expenses as a result of increased revenues in certain countries due to revenue growth and new contracts. These increases were partially offset by lower variable costs in other countries where revenues have declined.

 

Consolidated SG&A Expenses

SG&A expenses decreased $31.1 million including an increase of $1.7 million due to the effects of movements in foreign exchange compared to 2012.  SG&A expenses in our Americas segment increased $9.5 million including a $7.8 million decrease in

33


  

expenses related to a favorable court ruling in 2012, with other 2013 increases being driven by higher compensation expenses including commissions and amounts related to our variable compensation plans and legal costs.  Our International SG&A expenses decreased $40.6 million including a $1.9 million increase due to the effects of movements in foreign exchange compared to the same period of 2012.  Excluding the impact of foreign exchange movements and excluding the $4.2 million impact of our divestiture of our international neon business during 2012, SG&A expenses decreased $38.3 million primarily due to certain expenses during the 2012 period related to legal and other costs in Brazil that did not recur during 2013, as well as lower expenses as a result of cost saving initiatives.

 

Corporate Expenses

Corporate expenses increased $8.6 million during 2013 compared to 2012, driven by increases in compensation expenses including amounts related to our variable compensation plans as well as legal costs related to stockholder litigation.

 

Revenue and Efficiency Initiatives

Included in the amounts for direct operating expenses, SG&A and corporate expenses discussed above are expenses of $36.4 million incurred in connection with our strategic revenue and efficiency initiatives. The costs were incurred to improve revenue growth, enhance yield, reduce costs, and organize each business to maximize performance and profitability.  These costs consist primarily of consulting expenses, consolidation of locations and positions, severance related to workforce initiatives and other costs incurred in connection with streamlining our businesses. These costs are expected to provide benefits in future periods as the initiative results are realized.  Of these costs, $12.5 million are reported within direct operating expenses, $12.2 million are reported within SG&A and $11.7 million are reported within corporate expense.  In 2012, such costs totaled $6.4 million, $27.5 million, and $10.1 million, respectively.

 

Depreciation and Amortization

Depreciation and amortization increased $3.9 million during 2013 compared to 2012 primarily a result of increased depreciation in our Americas segment related to depreciation of digital bulletins.

 

Impairment Charges

We performed our annual impairment tests as of October 1, 2013 and 2012 on our goodwill, billboard permits, and other intangible assets and recorded impairment charges of $13.2 million and $37.7 million, respectively.  During 2013, we recognized a $10.7 million goodwill impairment charge in our International segment related to a decline in the estimated fair value of one market.  Please see Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements included in Item 8 of Part II of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a further description of the impairment charges.

 

Other Operating Income, Net

Other operating income of $23.0 million in 2013 primarily related to the gain on the sale of certain outdoor assets in our Americas segment.

Other operating income of $50.9 million in 2012 primarily related to the gain on the sale of our international neon business in the third quarter of 2012.

 

Interest Expense

Interest expense decreased $21.1 million during 2013 compared to 2012 primarily due to a lower weighted average cost of debt due to the refinancing of the Clear Channel Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (“CCWH”) Series A Senior Notes and Series B Senior Notes due 2017 with an interest rate of 9.25% (the “Existing CCWH Senior Notes”) with the CCWH Series A Senior Notes and Series B Senior Notes due 2022 with a stated interest rate of 6.5% (the “CCWH Senior Notes”) during the fourth quarter of 2012.

 

Interest Income on Due From iHeartCommunications

Interest income decreased $9.6 million during 2013 compared to 2012 due to the change in the interest rate recognized on amounts outstanding in the balance of the Due from iHeartCommunications account during 2013, partially offset by the higher balance.

 

Loss on Marketable Securities

The loss on marketable securities of $2.6 million during 2012, primarily related to the impairment of our investment in Independent News & Media PLC (“INM”) and the impairment of a cost-basis investment during 2012.  The fair value of INM was

34


  

below cost for an extended period of time.  As a result, we considered the guidance in ASC 320-10-S99 and reviewed the length of the time and the extent to which the market value was less than cost, the financial condition and the near-term prospects of the issuer.  After this assessment, we concluded that the impairment at each date was other than temporary and recorded non-cash impairment charges to our investment in INM, as noted above.  We obtained the financial information for our cost-basis investment and noted continued doubt of the investment’s ability to continue as a going concern.  After evaluating the financial condition of the investment, we concluded that the investment was other than temporarily impaired and recorded a non-cash impairment charge to that investment.

 

Equity in Earnings (Loss) of Nonconsolidated Affiliates

Equity in loss of nonconsolidated affiliates of $2.1 million for 2013 and the equity in earnings of nonconsolidated affiliates of $0.8 million for 2012 included the earnings or loss from our equity investments in our International segment.

 

Loss on Extinguishment of Debt

In connection with the refinancing of Existing CCWH Senior Notes with the CCWH Senior Notes, CCWH paid existing note holders a tender premium of 7.4% of face value on the $1,724.7 million of Existing CCWH Senior Notes that were tendered in the tender offer and a call premium of 6.9% on the $775.3 million of Existing CCWH Senior Notes that were redeemed following the tender offer.  The tender premium of $128.3 million and the call premium of $53.8 million are included in the loss on extinguishment of debt.  In addition, we recognized a loss of $39.0 million due to the write-off of deferred loan costs in connection with the call of the Existing CCWH Senior Notes.

 

Other Income (Expense), Net

Other income of $1.0 million for 2013 primarily related to $1.7 million in foreign exchange gains on short-term intercompany accounts partially offset by miscellaneous expenses of $0.7 million.

Other expense of $0.4 million for 2012 primarily related to $0.9 million in foreign exchange losses on short-term intercompany accounts partially offset by miscellaneous dividend and other income of $0.5 million.

 

Income Tax (Expense) Benefit

Our operations are included in a consolidated income tax return filed by iHeartMedia.  However, for our financial statements, our provision for income taxes was computed as if we file separate consolidated federal income tax returns with our subsidiaries.

The effective tax rate for 2013 was (155.6%), primarily impacted by our benefits and charges from tax amounts associated with our foreign earnings that are taxed at rates different from the federal statutory rate and an inability to benefit from losses in certain foreign jurisdictions.  In addition, we recorded additional foreign deferred tax expense of $3.4 million on certain foreign earnings that are expected to be distributed in future periods from our Asia subsidiaries on which foreign withholding and other taxes have not previously been provided.

The effective tax rate for 2012 was 40.2%, primarily impacted by the disposition of certain foreign subsidiaries that resulted in financial reporting gains that were not taxed in the foreign jurisdictions.  In addition, we recorded tax benefits in certain foreign jurisdictions for net operating losses that we expect to utilize in future periods.

 

Americas Results of Operations

Our Americas operating results were as follows:

 

(In thousands)

Years Ended December 31,

 

%

 

2013

 

2012

 

Change

Revenue

$

 1,290,452  

 

$

 1,279,257  

 

1%

Direct operating expenses

 

 566,669  

 

 

 582,340  

 

(3%)

SG&A expenses

 

 220,732  

 

 

 211,245  

 

4%

Depreciation and amortization

 

 196,597  

 

 

 192,023  

 

2%

Operating income

$

 306,454  

 

$

 293,649  

 

4%

 

35


  

Our Americas revenue increased $11.2 million during 2013 compared to 2012, driven primarily by increases in revenues from bulletins and posters.  Traditional bulletins and posters had increases in occupancy and rates in connection with new contracts, while the increase for digital displays was driven by higher occupancy and capacity.  The increase for digital displays was negatively impacted by lower revenues in our Los Angeles market as a result of the impact of litigation as discussed further in Item 3 of Part I of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.  Partially offsetting these increases were declines in specialty business revenues due primarily to a significant contract during 2012 that did not recur during 2013, and declines in our airport business driven primarily by the loss of certain of our U.S. airport contracts and other airport revenue.

 

Direct operating expenses decreased $15.7 million, primarily due to the benefits resulting from our previous strategic cost initiatives as well as reduced variable costs associated with site lease expenses due to reduced revenues on lower margin products. SG&A expenses increased $9.5 million primarily due to the 2012 period being impacted by a favorable court ruling that resulted in a $7.8 million decrease in expenses, with other 2013 increases being driven by legal costs related to the Los Angeles litigation discussed further in Item 3 of Part I of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, as well as compensation expenses including commissions and amounts related to our variable compensation plans, which were higher for the 2013 period in connection with increasing our revenues, partially offset by a decrease in costs during 2013 associated with our strategic revenue and cost initiatives compared to 2012.

 

Depreciation and amortization increased $4.6 million, primarily due to our continued deployment of digital billboards partially offset by assets becoming fully depreciated during 2013.

 

International Advertising Results of Operations

Our International operating results were as follows:

 

(In thousands)

Years Ended December 31,

 

%

 

2013

 

2012

 

Change

Revenue

$

 1,655,738  

 

$

 1,667,687  

 

(1%)

Direct operating expenses

 

 1,028,059  

 

 

 1,021,152  

 

1%

SG&A expenses

 

 322,840  

 

 

 363,417  

 

(11%)

Depreciation and amortization

 

 203,927  

 

 

 205,258  

 

(1%)

Operating income

$

 100,912  

 

$

 77,860  

 

30%

 

International revenue decreased $11.9 million during 2013 compared to 2012, including an increase of $5.2 million from movements in foreign exchange, and the divestiture of our international neon business which had $20.4 million in revenues during 2012.  Excluding the impact of foreign exchange and the divestiture, revenues increased $3.3 million.  Revenue growth in certain markets including China, Latin America, and the UK primarily in street furniture advertising revenue, as well as higher transit advertising sales resulting from new contracts in Norway, was partially offset by lower revenues in other countries in Europe as a result of weakened macroeconomic conditions.

Direct operating expenses increased $6.9 million including an increase of $4.8 million from movements in foreign exchange, and the divestiture of our international neon business during 2012 which had $13.0 million in direct operating expenses during 2012.  Excluding the impact of movements in foreign exchange and the divestiture, direct operating expenses increased $15.1 million driven primarily by increases in variable costs in certain markets such as China, Norway and Latin America resulting from increased revenues partially offset by declines in expenses in response to declining revenues in other countries in Europe.  SG&A expenses decreased $40.6 million including an increase of $1.9 million from movements in foreign exchange and the divestiture of our international neon business during 2012, which had $4.2 million in SG&A expenses during 2012.  Excluding the impact of movements in foreign exchange and the divestiture, SG&A expenses decreased $38.3 million primarily due to the absence in 2013 of $22.7 million in expenses incurred during 2012 in connection with legal and other costs in Brazil as well as decreases in 2013 in strategic revenue and cost initiative expenses.  

 

36


  

Reconciliation of Segment Operating Income to Consolidated Operating Income

 

(In thousands)

Years Ended December 31,

 

2014

 

2013

 

2012

Americas Outdoor Advertising

$

 290,967  

 

 

 306,454  

 

 

 293,649  

International Outdoor Advertising

 

 122,814  

 

 

 100,912  

 

 

 77,860  

Impairment charges

 

 (3,530) 

 

 

 (13,150) 

 

 

 (37,651) 

Corporate and other (1)

 

 (135,066) 

 

 

 (127,045) 

 

 

 (117,815) 

Other operating income, net

 

 7,259  

 

 

 22,979  

 

 

 50,943  

Consolidated operating income

$

 282,444  

 

$

 290,150  

 

$

 266,986  

 

(1)        Corporate and other includes expenses related to Americas and International and as well as overall executive, administrative and support functions.

 

Share-Based Compensation Expense

As of December 31, 2014, there was $15.1 million of unrecognized compensation cost related to unvested share-based compensation arrangements that will vest based on service conditions.  This cost is expected to be recognized over a weighted average period of approximately three years.  In addition, as of December 31, 2014, there was $0.6 million of unrecognized compensation cost related to unvested share-based compensation arrangements that will vest based on market, performance and service conditions.  This cost will be recognized when it becomes probable that the performance condition will be satisfied.

 

Share-based compensation expenses are recorded in corporate expenses and were $7.7 million, $7.7 million, and $10.6 million for the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012, respectively.

 

Liquidity and Capital Resources

Cash Flows

The following discussion highlights cash flow activities during the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012.

 

 (In thousands)

Years Ended December 31,

 

 

2014

 

2013

 

2012

Cash provided by (used for):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating activities

$

 348,423  

 

$

 414,640  

 

$

 355,138  

 

Investing activities

$

 (206,431) 

 

$

 (177,679) 

 

$

 (233,748) 

 

Financing activities

$

 (261,309) 

 

$

 (484,393) 

 

$

 (105,549) 

 

Operating Activities

2014

Cash provided by operating activities in 2014 was $348.4 million compared to $414.6 million of cash used in 2013.  Our consolidated net loss included $373.7 million of non-cash items in 2014.  Our consolidated net loss in 2013 included $385.7 million of non-cash items. Non-cash items affecting our net loss include impairment charges, depreciation and amortization, deferred taxes, provision for doubtful accounts, amortization of deferred financing charges and note discounts, net, share-based compensation, gain on disposal of operating and fixed assets, gain on marketable securities, equity in (earnings) loss of nonconsolidated affiliates, loss on extinguishment of debt, and other reconciling items, net as presented on the face of the consolidated statement of cash flows.  Cash paid for interest was $1.0 million higher in 2014 compared to the prior year due to the timing of accrued interest payments from refinancing transactions.

 

2013

Cash provided by operating activities in 2013 was $414.6 million compared to $355.1 million of cash used in 2012.  Our consolidated net loss included $385.7 million of non-cash items in 2013.  Our consolidated net loss in 2012 included $481.0 million of non-cash items. Non-cash items affecting our net loss include depreciation and amortization, deferred taxes, provision for doubtful accounts, share-based compensation, gain on disposal of operating assets, amortization of deferred financing charges and note

37


  

discounts, net and other reconciling items, net as presented on the face of the consolidated statement of cash flows.  Cash paid for interest was $34.5 million lower in 2013 compared to the prior year due to the repurchase of the $2,500.0 million aggregate principal amount of Existing CCWH Senior Notes using the proceeds from the issuance of the $2,725.0 million aggregate principal amount of CCWH Senior Notes during December 2012 that reduced the weighted average cost of debt.

 

2012

The $162.1 million decrease in cash flows from operations to $355.1 million in 2012 compared to $517.2 million in 2011 was primarily driven by higher interest expense. Our consolidated net loss, adjusted for $481.0 million of non-cash items, provided positive cash flows of $321.8 million in 2012.  Non-cash items affecting our net loss include impairment charges, depreciation and amortization, deferred taxes, provision for doubtful accounts, share-based compensation, gain on disposal of operating and fixed assets, loss on marketable securities, amortization of deferred financing charges and note discounts, net, loss on extinguishment of debt, equity in earnings of nonconsolidated affiliates and other reconciling items, net as presented on the face of the statement of cash flows.  Cash paid for interest was $147.4 million higher during 2012 compared to the prior year. 

 

Investing Activities

2014

Cash used for investing activities of $206.4 million during 2014 reflected our capital expenditures of $231.2 million.  We spent $97 million in our Americas segment primarily related to the construction of new advertising structures such as digital displays, $130.2 million in our International segment primarily related to new advertising structures such as billboards and street furniture and renewals of existing contracts, and $4.0 million by Corporate primarily related to equipment and software.  Other cash provided by investing activities were $12.9 million of proceeds from sales of other operating and fixed assets.

 

2013

Cash used for investing activities of $177.7 million during 2013 reflected our capital expenditures of $206.2 million.  We spent $89.0 million in our Americas segment primarily related to the construction of new advertising structures such as digital displays, $108.6 million in our International segment primarily related to new advertising structures such as billboards and street furniture and renewals of existing contracts, and $8.6 million by Corporate primarily related to equipment and software.  Other cash provided by investing activities were $42.1 million of proceeds from sales of other operating and fixed assets.

 

2012

Cash used for investing activities of $233.7 million during 2012 reflected capital expenditures of $275.6 million. We spent $117.6 million in our Americas segment primarily related to the installation of new digital displays, $150.1 million in our International segment primarily related to new billboard, street furniture and mall contracts and renewals of existing contracts, and $7.8 million by Corporate. Partially offsetting cash used for investing activities were $56.4 million of proceeds from the divestiture of our international neon business and the sales of other operating assets.

 

Financing Activities

2014

Cash used for financing activities of $261.3 million during 2014 primarily reflected the $175.0 million dividend paid as well as net transfers of $68.8 million in cash to iHeartCommunications, which represents the activity in the “Due from/to iHeartCommunications” account.  Other cash used for financing activities included net payments to noncontrolling interests of $19.0 million.

 

2013

Cash used for financing activities of $484.4 million during 2013 primarily reflected a $200.0 million dividend as well as net transfers of $150.0 million in cash to iHeartCommunications, which represents the activity in the “Due from/to iHeartCommunications” account.  Other cash used for financing activities included net payments to noncontrolling interests of $68.4 million and payments to repurchase noncontrolling interests of $61.1 million.

 

2012

Cash used for financing activities of $105.5 million during 2012 reflected (i) the issuance of $2.2 billion of aggregate principal amount of indebtedness, which consist of $275.0 million aggregate principal amount of 7.625% Series A Senior Subordinated Notes due 2020 (the “Series A CCWH Subordinated Notes”) and $1,925.0 million aggregate principal amount of

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