Liberty Media Group (NASDAQ:LMCA) Chief Executive Greg Maffei floated an offer to acquire Internet-radio company Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) for about $15 a share, but the board refused it. According to people familiar with the matter, Maffie offer was several dollars above where the shares of the company traded when he made the offer. Maffei’s offer, valued the company at over $3.4 billion. Pandora’s board rebuffed the advance citing that they believe the company’s actual value was close to what it was in the fall when the stock traded at around $20.
Earlier this year, Pandora was looking for a buyer with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) being some of the potential suitors. People familiar with the matter noted that in June at a private meeting with investors in Denver, Maffei talked up the benefits of a potential Sirius XM and Pandora ties. Liberty Media own 64% stake in Sirius XM.
Sirius XM Chief Executive Jim Meyer, in an interview, declined to comment on any takeover approach to Pandora but noted that since his company represents a $5 billion part of the $25 billion radio business he often wonders whether he would like to have a bigger presence in the business. Sirius XM has managed to create a profitable subscription business on strong partnerships with car maker but with the current rise of streaming media and Internet-connected car, customers might be unwilling to pay $15 a month when they have the option of free service or cheaper stream music on their dashboards.
Pandora acquisition would instantly give Sirius XM scale in streaming, with over 80 million listeners who mostly listen through their mobile phone. Pandora’s revenue mostly comes from advertising, an entirely different business model and higher content costs that Sirius XM.
According to individuals familiar with the matter, investors are currently wondering whether Mr.Maffei will raise his bid and what he might do if he acquires Pandora.