Liberty Media Tells The SEC It Wants Control Of SiriusXM
June 1, 2012 at 3:58 AM (PT)
Just last week (NET NEWS 5/23), SIRIUSXM RADIO CEO MEL KARMAZIN told shareholders why he resisted JOHN MALONE's LIBERTY MEDIA CORP. taking control of the satcaster. KARMAZIN said he didn't want to report to a majority shareholder, and was quoted as saying, "I want to be held accountable, I don't want to be responsible for somebody else making a decision."
Whether KARMAZIN likes it or not, MALONE's LIBERTY MEDIA CORP. seems intent on taking over the company, and has told U.S. regulators it wants to take over SIRIUS XM RADIO INC.
"LIBERTY plans to assert control of the largest U.S. satellite radio provider after receiving approval from the FCC, the ENGLEWOOD, CO-based company said in a filing yesterday," reports BLOOMBERG. "LIBERTY has asked the FCC to reconsider the agency’s MAY 4th dismissal of its application for permission to take control, according to a filing with THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION."
LIBERTY "will convert nearly half of its preferred shares of SIRIUSXM RADIO into common stock and nominate a slate of candidates to the company's board, as part of its ongoing push to take control of the satellite radio company," reports CBS NEWS.
WALL STREET insiders feel MALONE wants to spin off his stake in SIRIUSXM. "LIBERTY will probably execute a so-called Reverse Morris Trust, which involves splitting off its SIRIUS stake as a separate entity and giving its stockholders the option to hold or sell their SIRIUS shares," BARCLAYS CAPITAL Analyst JAMES RATCLIFFE told BLOOMBERG.
LIBERTY must get board approval from SIRIUS to make that move. Reports have SIRIUSXM in talks with LIBERTY about their ownership interest, according to a separate SEC filing by SIRIUSXM.