By Arjun Panchadar and Vibhuti Sharma
(Reuters) – Accessory radio aggregation Sirius XM Holdings Inc (SIRI.O) will buy online music account Pandora Media Inc (P.N) in a $3.5 billion all-stock accord that will advice it action growing antagonism from alive rivals Spotify and Apple Music.
Sirius XM, controlled by media mogul John Malone’s Liberty Media Corp (FWONA.O), has congenital a name bartering added than 175 channels to car drivers, but has abundantly trailed Pandora, Spotify Technology SA (SPOT.N) and Apple (AAPL.O) in adaptable and alive content.
Monday’s accord gives the brace a bazaar amount of about $34 billion, topping Spotify’s $31.2 billion and follows through on Sirius’ acquirement of a 15 percent preferred-stock pale in Pandora for $480 actor aftermost year.
“We appearance the apprehend through to Spotify as hardly abrogating as it could face a stronger adversary in the U.S. while at the aforementioned time one of the alone ample swaths of ad-supported admirers in the fast-maturing U.S. goes off the market,” SunTrust analyst Matthew Thornton said.
Sirius shares, however, fell 4.2 percent to $6.69 as investors afraid the aggregation had overpaid.
Shares in Pandora, which has acquaint losses for at atomic the accomplished eight quarters, rose 6.5 percent to $9.68 in aboriginal trading, hardly beneath an action amount of $10.05 based on Sirius’ Friday closing price.
The deal, account $2.68 billion at the action price, is accepted to accomplish added than $7 billion in accepted pro-forma acquirement in 2018. Analysts said the two businesses were abundantly complementary.
“SIRI cannot action on-demand radio, and cannot action customisation, and Pandora offers both,” said Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles.
“Sirius can absorb Pandora’s radio business into its accessory cable business, and can additionally activate to action on-demand to its ample installed abject of accessory subscribers.”
Pandora has been aggravating to mark its position in an industry area competitors are commonly abacus new features, giving abroad discounts and alms added content, including interviews with accepted musicians.
Pandora shareholders will get a fixed-exchange arrangement of 1.44 newly-issued Sirius XM shares for anniversary allotment held.
If the accord is terminated, Pandora will accept to pay either $52.5 actor or $105 million, depending on the circumstances, the aggregation said in a filing.
Sirius XM said afterward the deal, which is accepted to aing in the aboriginal division of 2019, Pandora stockholders will own 8.6 percent of the pro forma aggregation on a absolutely adulterated basis.
Sirius XM Chief Executive Officer James Meyer said on a appointment alarm that the aggregation had been in talks with Pandora alike afore its Chief Executive Officer Roger Lynch took up the position in August aftermost year.
“We had a chat 15 months ago. We couldn’t ability an acceding on amount absolutely honestly,” Meyer said.
Allen & Co LLC and BofA Merrill Lynch are banking admiral to Sirius XM, while Centerview Partners LLC, LionTree Advisors LLC and Morgan Stanley & Co LLC are banking admiral to Pandora.
(Reporting by Vibhuti Sharma and Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Patrick Graham, Bernard Orr)
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