Liberty Media Corp (NASDAQ:LMCA) (NASDAQ:LMCB) said it plans to make satellite radio provider Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI) a wholly owned unit of Liberty. In a proposal unveiled late Friday, billionaire John Malone’s Liberty Media proposed to create the wholly-owned subsidiary by creating a third class of Liberty Media shares.
Liberty is already a major owner of Sirius
In January 2013, Liberty Media Corp got approval from the Federal Communications Commission to take control of Sirius XM Radio Inc. The FCC ruled that the takeover of Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI) by Liberty Media is in the public interest and doesn’t hurt industry competition.
Douglas Country-based Liberty Media Corp (NASDAQ:LMCA) (NASDAQ:LMCB) was keen on acquiring the growing 23 million-subscriber radio service, since it bought a 40% stake in the business and saved the radio firm from bankruptcy with a $535 million loan. John Malone’s Liberty Media Corp had been trying since 2012 to gain full control after it got dissatisfied with the company’s pace of buying back its own shares and in developing new services and technology.
Details of new proposal
In a complex proposal announced last Friday, shareholders of Sirius XM would convert their common stock into 0.076 of a new share of Liberty, immediately following a 2:1 distribution of a new Liberty Series C common stock to all Series A and B shareholders. The proposed exchange ratio values Sirius shares at approximately $3.68 per share based on Friday closing prices of Liberty’s Series A shares.
David Gelles of Dealbook points out that over the years, the value of Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI) skyrocketed, making Liberty’s initial investment of less than $1 billion worth more than $10 billion today. When Liberty’s proposal to take full control of Sirius becomes productive, Liberty could soon be the sole owner of a company valued at $21.5 billion.
Interestingly, John Malone is also working another big transaction. He aims to regain his status as the “King of Cable” and shake up the entire industry as he works behind the scenes to acquire Time Warner Cable Inc. Liberty Media Corp started its initiative to strike a deal with Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC) after it purchased 27% stake in Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR), the fourth largest cable operator in the country.