OAKLAND, Calif.—It appears that one enterprise previously thought to portend the end of radio as we know it is now amenable to being sold to another enterprise that was also previously thought to portend the end of the medium.
CNBC is reporting that Pandora “is now open to selling itself and is now willing to engage with one-time suitor SiriusXM specifically, people familiar with the matter told CNBC. SiriusXM is expected to pursue a deal,” according to an online article.
“One person referred to the situation as being "the first inning of the process,’ and there is no assurance that Pandora will reach a deal with SiriusXM or other potentially-interested parties.”
Corvex Management, which controls 9.9% of Pandora’s stock, says that despite the company’s many strengths, it remains unable to translate its “great product” into a business with attractive market evaluations. Corvex, along with other large shareholders Matrix and Eminence, is unified in the idea of a sale, according to the same report.
“We think that the free space, whether it be commercial terrestrial radio, or Pandora, is still a very attractive space,” said Greg Maffei, CEO of Liberty Media Corp., owner of SiriusXM. “And we talked about how we'd like to find a way to participate. I think the streaming business, which Pandora seems to have doubled down on, is a very unattractive business. So there are parts of Pandora that could be attractive. And there’s parts that we’d have questions about.”
Interesting how the CEO of a very profitable company — by itself, SiriusXM had income of over $500M on revenues of over $4.5B — threw a bone to commercial radio. Is it possible he understands something the principals of Pandora don’t? I’ll take it as an endorsement.