Since late last year, SiriusXM has made several overtures to Pandora for a potential takeover of the streaming radio company. The talks had been on-and-off since December but seemed to be getting serious over the last month. It looks like that is no longer the case, but it’s not all bad for SiriusXM.
According to CNBC, Pandora reached a deal with SiriusXM for the satellite radio company to make a $480 million investment into Pandora. A subsidiary of SiriusXM will buy issued series A convertible stock for Pandora that makes up 19 percent of its stock shares. The investment will also put three people from SiriusXM to join the Pandora board, and one of them will serve as chairman. The feeling is that either Sirius’s Jim Meyer or Liberty Media’s Greg Maffei will be named the chairman.
“Pandora’s large user base and its ability to provide listeners with a personalized music experience are tremendous assets,” Meyer said in a statement to CNBC. He continued, “With its strong technology and new product offerings, we believe there are exciting opportunities for Pandora to accelerate its growth and increase value for Pandora and SiriusXM stockholders.”
This deal will also replace the previously reported deal in May from KKR. Originally, KKR and Pandora reached a deal that would’ve seen the firm invest $150 million into Pandora. However, the terms of the deal gave Pandora a 30-day period to find a different deal, allowing the talks with SiriusXM to pick up. KKR won’t be walking away empty-handed, though, and will receive a $22.5 million breakup payment from Pandora.
Glass Half Full
While Pandora will be remaining “independent” from SiriusXM, Sirius is still walking away from this deal with a bit of a victory. This goes back to Sirius getting three board spots at Pandora, one of those being chairman. Since last year, Maffei has been talking repeatedly about his interest in buying the streaming radio company, especially when Pandora launched its on-demand service to compete with the likes of Spotify and Apple Music. This did no favors for Pandora and its stock, which went up and down anytime Maffei spoke of a takeover.
While it’s mere speculation, getting three board members, including the chairman, could be the first step in another takeover attempt. It gives Sirius a more hands-on look at the goings-on within Pandora. However, only time will tell for these two music entities.