Friday, February 14, 2014

What's Next For Liberty Media, SiriusXM Deal?

The news came out Thursday that Comcast and Time Warner (TWC) are coming to terms on a deal to merge. This puts Charter, a company in which Liberty Media has a substantial stake in the proverbial back seat. Does this mean that Liberty and John Malone have lost? It depends on how you look at things, according to Spencer Osborn for Seeking Alpha.

Liberty Media has also been in the beginning stages of trying to bring all of Sirius XM under its umbrella.

Some Sirius XM investors believed that Liberty wanted the satellite radio provider in order to finance the Time Warner deal. Those same investors argued that because Liberty "NEEDED" Sirius XM, that a premium was appropriate and deserved. Well, if the Comcast and Time Warner merger does indeed move forward, then potentially the "NEED" that many assigned no longer exists.

From a Liberty Media standpoint, the argument that there was a prevailing "NEED" with regard to Sirius XM now means that the "leverage" some assumed that Sirius XM might have is now not as strong. This, in Osborn'es  opinion, actually makes the chances of a Sirius XM deal more likely now.

In his opinion, this latest news about Time Warner actually offers a little bit of clarity in the SiriusXM transaction. While SiriusXM has not yet responded to the initial Liberty offer, the satellite radio provider has engaged in hiring consultants to assess and help guide independent members of the Board that will be negotiating any deal.

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Charter Communications is unlikely to make a counter-bid for Time Warner Cable (TWC), the WSJ reports, due to the gap between Comcast's $158.82-a-share offer and Charter's $132.50 proposal.

Instead, Charter is looking at other possible acquisitions, including the 3M managed subscribers that Comcast has pledged to sell in order to win antitrust approval for its deal.

Charter will also look at other cable-TV firms, with one possible target Cox Communications.

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