Liberty Gets Closer To Control Of Sirius XM
May 10, 2012 at 3:49 AM (PT)
SIRIUS XM RADIO is looking over its shoulder this morning. On TUESDAY (NET NEWS 5/8), ALL ACCESS reported that LIBERTY had struck a deal to raise its effective stake in SIRIUS XM RADIO to 45.2%. The media investment company, controlled by mogul JOHN MALONE, had agreed to buy 302 million shares for $2.15 each -- at a total cost of $650 million -- and expects the transaction to close in the third quarter.
Now, reports THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, LIBERTY has upped that share of SIRIUS XM with another stock purchase of "an additional 60 million shares, raising its stake to 46.2%. The purchases, made TUESDAY and WEDNESDAY in the open market for a total of $128 million, were disclosed just one day after LIBERTY said it had arranged to spend $650 million increasing its stake in SIRIUS to 45.2% from 40%."
On MONDAY (NET NEWS 5/7), ALL ACCESS reported LIBERTY MEDIA was denied the ability to take control of SIRIUS XM RADIO by a federal regulator on FRIDAY (5/4). The decision by the FCC came after LIBERTY MEDIA, SIRIUS XM's largest shareholder, requested approval to take over the company's operating licenses, arguing that it had de facto control of SIRIUS XM with its large stake and board seats. LIBERTY acquired its 40% stake in 2009 as part of deal in which it loaned the satellite radio provider $530 million to help it avoid bankruptcy.
"LIBERTY said on TUESDAY it planned to file a motion with the FCC within 30 days for its application to be reconsidered," noted THE JOURNAL. "The company said it expected the stock purchase and other actions it might take would have a 'bearing' on the application."