Hedge fund Corvex Management, which is run by Keith Meister, a protégé of billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn, disclosed it owns 9.9 percent of Pandora’s stock (22.7 million shares) and is pushing the online streamer to explore a sale instead of pursuing a “costly and uncertain business plan.”
According to Reuters, Corvex executives met with Pandora’s management and has withdrawn a plan to replace some of its board members. However Corvex is saying it wants Pandora to hire an investment bank to help the company explore options including a sale. “We believe there is likely to be significant strategic interest in the company at a substantial premium to the company’s recent stock price,” Corvex said, adding that large internet companies, handset makers and media companies could be potential buyers.
In a letter included in an SEC filing, Corvex said, “Despite its many strengths, the company has been unable to date to translate its great product into a great business with an attractive public market valuation.”
In a statement, Pandora said, “Pandora has a profitable core business, combined with a strong balance sheet. We are confidently investing to fully capture the massive opportunity ahead of us. The company is in constant dialogue with shareholders about our business strategy and committed to delivering results and long-term value.”