SiriusXM Still Dancing With Pandora

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    iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman has said from day one that music curation is more of an audio feature than a profitable business. And, Pandora appears to be heading in that direction if the recent reports are true and the company becomes part of SiriusXM or sold off to some other company. We should find out soon enough.

    There have been rumors for months that Pandora and SiriusXM were in negotiations for SirisXM to purchase the pure-play streamer. More recently, Pandora was ready to take an investment from private equity firm KKR unless it could find a buyer for the company in 30 days.

    On Thursday, the 30-day deadline, Pandora announced it would be extending that 30 day time-frame to explore a “substantial minority investment.” That’s believed to be SiriusXM, although Pandora was not specific. According to Bloomberg the deal is done and both sides have agreed on valuation. If true, it’s unknown as of yet if KKR’s $150 million is off the table. Reuters is reporting that Sirius is negotiating a private investment in public equity after talks about Sirius buying Pandora outright ended unsuccessfully over price disagreements.

    Still very popular, Pandora continues to lose money and is facing a crowded field with iHeart, Spotify, Apple and Amazon being just the major players in that space.

    Here’s is Pandora’s complete statement from Thursday: “Although all conditions to closing of the investment by KKR in Pandora (NYSE: P) have been met and both parties are prepared to close immediately, KKR and Pandora agreed to a brief extension of the pre-closing period and Pandora’s termination right to enable Pandora to explore interest expressed by a strategic investor in making a substantial minority investment in Pandora, in lieu of the KKR investment. If Pandora determines that the KKR investment continues to be in the best interest of its stockholders, the KKR investment will close immediately following the expiration of this extended period.”

    3 COMMENTS

    1. Pittman right about Pandora? At $20B in debt, he isn’t even right about iHeart! The fact that anybody still listens to him and gives him any credibility is exactly what’s wrong with the radio industry today.

    2. What Bob pittman said about Pandora at the Forecast event was “There has always been a box of records next to the radio” Smartest thing he ever said.

    3. (From “The Motley Fool”..) “Sirius XM has failed to gain serious traction outside of receiver installations in cars. Pandora’s audience is getting thinner — going from 79.4 million active listeners consuming 5.52 billion hours of audio during last year’s first quarter to 76.7 million active listeners streaming 5.21 billion hours of content this time around — but it’s still the largest music-streaming audience outside of Spotify.” In spite of this (which to my untrained eye doesn’t look good for either service), the merger’s still got a very hot buzz going for it. Since Pandora is #2 to Spotify, since Sirius XM has lost active listeners and TSL, is this a positive move ? And (of course) Mr Pittman heads up a media company which competes with both services…asking him to comment is to ask more Democrats if they like Trump!! (Just my opinion.)

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