It’s the perfect climate for big deals and it looks like another media company is looking to seize the opportunity. SiriusXM on Monday morning announced that it plans to acquire Pandora in an all-stock transaction that values the company at $3.5 billion. Shares of Pandora were up more than 8% in pre-session trading on the news. SiriusXM said that the deal will create the world’s largest audio entertainment company, and that both brands will continue to operate independently.
“We have long respected Pandora and their team for their popular consumer offering that has attracted a massive audience, and have been impressed by Pandora’s strategic progress and stronger execution,” Sirius XM CEO Jim Meyer said. “We believe there are significant opportunities to create value for both companies’ stockholders by combining our complementary businesses. The addition of Pandora diversifies SiriusXM’s revenue streams with the U.S.’s largest ad-supported audio offering, broadens our technical capabilities, and represents an exciting next step in our efforts to expand our reach out of the car even further. Through targeted investments, we see significant opportunities to drive innovation that will accelerate growth beyond what would be available to the separate companies, and does so in a way that also benefits consumers, artists, and the broader content communities. Together, we will deliver even more of the best content on radio to our passionate and loyal listeners, and attract new listeners, across our two platforms.”
Pandora CEO Roger Lynch had this to add: “We’ve made tremendous progress in our efforts to lead in digital audio. Together with SiriusXM, we’re even better positioned to take advantage of the huge opportunities we see in audio entertainment, including growing our advertising business and expanding our subscription offerings. The powerful combination of SiriusXM’s content, position in the car, and premium subscription products, along with the biggest audio streaming service in the U.S., will create the world’s largest audio entertainment company. This transaction will deliver significant value to our stockholders and will allow them to participate in upside, given SiriusXM’s strong brand, financial resources and track record delivering results.”
SiriusXM provided the following transaction details in a press release:
Pursuant to the agreement, the owners of the outstanding shares in Pandora that SiriusXM does not currently own will receive a fixed exchange ratio of 1.44 newly issued SiriusXM shares for each share of Pandora they hold. Based on the 30-day volume-weighted average price of $7.04 per share of SiriusXM common stock, the implied price of Pandora common stock is $10.14 per share, representing a premium of 13.8% over a 30-day volume-weighted average price. The transaction is expected to be tax-free to Pandora stockholders. SiriusXM currently owns convertible preferred stock in Pandora that represents a stake of approximately 15% on an as-converted basis.
The merger agreement provides for a “go-shop” provision under which Pandora and its Board of Directors may actively solicit, receive, evaluate and potentially enter negotiations with parties that offer alternative proposals following the execution date of the definitive agreement. There can be no assurance this process will result in a superior proposal. Pandora does not intend to disclose developments about this process unless and until its Board of Directors has made a decision with respect to any potential superior proposal.
SiriusXM’s board of directors and Pandora’s directors have unanimously approved the acquisition, which is expected to close at some point during the first quarter next year.