It seems that Mel Karmazin, CEO of Sirius XM Radio Inc (NASDAQ:SIRI) has finally called for a peace-out in face of Liberty Media’s expected take over. The company’s earnings conference call featured questions about the future of the CEO. Karmizan replied that the board will sort it out as his contract expires by the end of this year.
“I can assure you that the board and I are interested in accomplishing whatever Liberty wants to do”, said Karmizan in the earnings call.
Earlier, Karmizan was quoted as saying that he does not enjoy working for someone else which lead to John Malone, CEO of Liberty Media, replying in this fashion, “I would prefer not to lose Mel, but he’s gone public and said he won’t work for me, so what am I supposed to do?”
Karmizan’s comments were not referring to the new take over but were only a reflection on the apparently bad experience he had while working in Viacom. He clarified that in the Q&A session:
“But the fact that I was asked a question two years ago about working for somebody, and I told them that my experience at Viacom was such that I didn’t enjoy [it], and I like working for a board as opposed to working for a controlling shareholder — that was something I said. And every time the discussion of Liberty comes up, somebody is coupling my name into that.”
The announcement that John Malone of Liberty Media Corp (NASDAQ:LMCA) (NASDAQ:LMCB) is taking over the satellite radio company Sirius XM Radio Inc (NASDAQ:SIRI) came in late May, while the news that a takeover was imminent had been circulating for many months by then. Liberty Media Corp (NASDAQ:LMCA) (NASDAQ:LMCB) already holds 5 out of 13 seats in board of directors and owns about 46 percent of Sirius shares which is worth $6 billion. Both companies have been fighting it out for the last few months now. Liberty filed a request with Federal Communications Commission, to grant it de facto control of XM, earlier this year. Sirius fought back with their own application, files in mid April, that requested FCC to deny Liberty’s petition.
Since 2009, Sirius has evolved into a profitable investment for Liberty. In the earnings call for the second quarter with a 13 percent increase in sales which reached $837.5 million and beat Wall Street’s estimates of $834.38 million. The EPS was 2 cents or $136 million. 622,042 net subscribers were added in the month of July, up 38 percent from the year ago. With a favorable earnings profile, Sirius also boosted its targets for the fiscal 2012. The expected earnings before interests were raised to $900 million.
Sirius share price is up 4.5% today, trading at $2.30.