Liberty Media is too important a company to ignore, but since it’s mostly a holding company for stock in other publicly traded entities there’s rarely anything surprising in its earnings report. That’s pretty much the case this morning …
John Malone‘s company proposes a stock swap that would value Sirius XM at $3.68 a share — a mere 3% premium over Friday’s closing price of $3.57. Liberty Media already owns more than 52% of the satellite radio company’s shares, so this wouldn’t change control, and it says that it won’t squeeze out other investors. It will only go ahead if a special committee of independent directors, and other shareholders, support the change. They likely would insist on a higher price. The goal is to “simplify the capital structure and pursue other economic opportunities,” Liberty CEO Greg Maffei says. The company also says that Sirius XM shareholders will benefit by ending up with 39% of Liberty, though their shares would not entitle them to vote on its affairs.
“We believe the combined company will have better access to capital and all of Liberty’s shareholders — both its current shareholders and the Sirius shareholders who become Liberty shareholders as a result of the proposed transaction — will enjoy enhanced liquidity as shareholders of a $27 billion market capitalization company,” Maffei says. Malone adds that a deal “will enable us to focus our energies on the pursuit of new opportunities across the expanded portfolio of Liberty’s businesses.” Everything that Malone does has to be seen in the context of his eagerness to help Charter Communications (where Liberty’s the biggest shareholder) buy Time Warner Cable. “There are lots of ways that something can occur there,” Maffei says. “It’s likely that (a potential deal for TWC) would close significantly later than the transaction contemplated here.”
Here’s Liberty’s announcement:
The price for consumers will go up 50 cents to $14.99 a month, CEO Jim Meyer told analysts this morning in a conference call to discuss Q3 earnings. Although this was a “difficult decision,” he says, SiriusXM‘s …
NEW YORK, Aug. 15, 2013 — Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the connected vehicle services business of Agero, Inc. for $530 million in cash.
The connected vehicle unit of Agero is the leading provider of innovative telematics services, offering safety, security and convenience services for drivers and end-to-end, turnkey solutions for automakers. Following the acquisition, SiriusXM will provide connected vehicle services to more automotive manufacturers — including Acura, BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Lexus, Nissan and Toyota — than any other telematics provider.
NEW YORK—July 30, 2013 – Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI) announced today it will be the exclusive home to legendary radio personality Art Bell, marking the return of the trailblazing late night host to radio with a new, expanded live, nightly call-in show on which he will explore the paranormal, unexplained and more with expert guests and listeners nationwide.
It’s natural to wonder whether Liberty Media Chairman John Malone’s new acquisition of 27.3% of Charter Communications is merely Step One in a plan to make him a U.S. cable titan — the role he played until 1999 when he sold Tele-Communications Inc to AT&T. And while Liberty CEO Greg Maffei doesn’t predict that, he also didn’t rule it out today in a quarterly earnings call with analysts. He says that cable “could be in for a round of consolidation” at a time when it’s so inexpensive to borrow money and large companies covet opportunities to cut costs — for example by negotiating lower prices from programmers. He cryptically adds that even though Charter can do just fine as a stand-alone entity, “we’ll see” whether it ends up being “a consolidator or condolidatee.” Liberty’s stock purchase agreement gives it the right over time to raise its stake to 40%. Will it do so? “We’ll see what time holds,” Maffei says.
The New York Supreme Court today handed America’s Got Talent judge Howard Stern a further defeat in his multimillion-dollar suit against Sirius XM. “We agree with the motion court that plaintiffs are not entitled to additional performance-based compensation under the unambiguous agreement between plaintiffs and defendant’s predecessor, Sirius Satellite Radio Inc,” the First Appellate Division wrote today. Justices Rosalyn H. Richter, Angela M. Mazzarelli, Luis A. Gonzalez, Dianne T. Renwick and Judith J. Gische represented the appeals court panel. In a suit filed in March 2011, Stern’s company One Twelve and his agent Don Buchwald claimed that they were owed more than $300 million after Sirius exceeded subscriber targets following its merger with rival XM in 2008. Stern actually did get a $25 million bonus from the company as a result of the merger but he claimed he was expecting more. Judge Barbara Kapnick of the New York State Supreme Court tossed the suit last year on April 17. “Looking solely to the plain language used by the parties within the four corners of the agreement the disputed term “Sirius subscribers,” by which plaintiffs’ performance-based compensation was measured, did not include subscribers to XM Radio, a wholly owned subsidiary which defendant acquired by merger, even though the merger had been anticipated within the agreement,” added the judges today.
Liberty Media Chairman John Malone just consolidated his power at the satellite radio company as four people friendly to his outlook joined the Sirius XM board replacing former CEO Mel Karmazin — who left last month …