Worldspace hits the buffers

Worldspace issued an 8-K note to the US Securities & Exchange Commission on September 30, saying that despite the – now expired - obligations for at least $19m of payments to be made to its debt and loan note holders, nothing had been paid – and Worldspace was still talking to its debtors. Shares immediately fell 24%, to $1.25, in early trading.

The broadcaster should have made its promised debt repayments on Sept 25. Worldspace’s extremely brief 8-K stated: “The Holders have not entered into a further forbearance agreement with the Company, and, although the Company and the Holders are continuing discussions, there can be no assurance that the Holders will continue to defer the exercise of remedies under their respective financing agreements with the Company. The Company is continuing to seek new financing, but there can be no assurance that the Company will succeed in securing commitments for new financing, or that it will do so prior to the Holders seeking to exercise their remedies under their financing agreements.”

This is the bleakest communication yet from Worldspace, which over the past months has issued an extremely long list of statements that chart its decline to insolvency and near-bankruptcy. Two weeks ago founder and CEO Noah Samara offered to tender his resignation “if requested”, but that has seemingly not happened.

There are a total of 32 institutional investors owning Worldspace stock, headed by Aletheia Research & Management (15.8m shares), Natixis Asset Management (2.4m) and Ameriprise Financial (1m).