Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Liberty Media Denies Pandora Merger Reports

Liberty Media boss Greg Maffei put Pandora’s shareholders in a downbeat mood Tuesday as he cooled speculation about a merger between the streaming music service and Liberty’s majority-owned SiriusXM Radio.

“At the right price? Interesting,” the chief executive said during Liberty’s earnings call, before adding, “Not clear this is the right price.”

According to The NY Post, Pandora stock fell 6 percent, to $12.38, after Maffei played down takeover talk and questioned whether Pandora was worth its $3 billion market cap.

Greg Maffei
“Interesting asset,” he said. “But not clear the valuation makes sense — full stop.”

Sirius, which is 66-percent-owned by Liberty and has a market cap of $24 billion, unsuccessfully pitched an offer of $15 per share for Pandora last summer.

Many considered combining Pandora’s 81 million users with Sirius’ automobile-dominant 31.3 million subscribers a promising way to deliver a seamless music experience and combat rising music-licensing costs.

Deal rumors resurfaced in February after Pandora CEO Tim Westergren acknowledged his receptivity to joining a large distributor.

Warren Buffett’s entering the mix just weeks ago as a sizable investor in both Sirius and the vehicle that holds Liberty’s Sirius shares also heightened merger expectations.

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