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Elevator music files for Chapter 11

But keeps on playing

Muzak isn't just musically bankrupt. It's financially bankrupt.

Yesterday, the South Carolina brain-softening outfit filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, after failing to make a $105m payment to its creditors. But CEO Stephen P. Villa says the elevator music will play on - and on and on.

"We believe Chapter 11 will provide us with the opportunity to right size our capital structure and gain financial flexibility, while continuing to operate our business and serve our clients without interruption," reads a canned statement from the CEO.

"We intend to move through this process as quickly as possible, and we firmly believe that this course of action will better position Muzak for long-term success."

Villa says that Muzak's cash flow has doubled over the last three years, insisting that businesses will still pay good money for watered-down pop music - even in "today's challenging environment."

A company court filing says the company's total debt is between $100m and $500m. A single creditor, US Bank, is owed $371m.

Muzak says that its "sensory experiences" reach 100 million people each day. And not all of it is piped through elevators. You can hear its strings-heavy pop playlists while standing in other parts of a retail establishment - and while your telephone is on hold. Together with a network of private partners, the company also designs and installs sound systems, drive-thru systems, and digital signs. ®

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