Liberty Media Nears Control of Sirius XM Radio

by Christopher Freeburn | September 13, 2012 11:05 am

Billionaire John Malone’s Liberty Media (NASDAQ:LMCA[1]) holds 49% of Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI[2]) shares as of this week, and plans to increase its stake in the company to over 50%[3].

Last month, Liberty applied to the FCC for permission to assume control of the satellite radio company, Reuters noted.

However, Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei indicated on Wednesday that the company might not seek an immediate spin-off of Sirius XM Radio, once it gains control of the business. Analysts had expected Liberty to restructure and spin-off Sirius shortly after gaining control.

Liberty has requested an immediate hearing on its application with the FCC, which has not yet responded to the request.

Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin was quoted yesterday saying that he would likely leave the company when his contract expires this year, since Liberty would not require his services. He would consider staying on only if Liberty were to spin-off Sirius.

In exchange for a loan of $530 million in 2009, Liberty received a 40% stake in Sirius. It has increased its stake in the company ever since.

Shares of both Liberty Media and Sirius XM Radio rose fractionally in Thursday morning trading.

  1. LMCA:
  2. SIRI:
  3. plans to increase its stake in the company to over 50%:

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