Pandora Media (NYSE:P) shares have fallen 3.2% in postmarket trading after a Sirius XM (SIRI +2.4%) exec dampened speculation about M&A as "not very likely."
Shares had gained in December amid increasing chatter about a tie-up. That followed summer reports that Liberty Global had floated a $15/share offer that looked like it was rebuffed, and comments from Liberty chief Greg Maffei that any streaming buy would be linked to Sirius XM.
Speaking at a Citigroup conference, Sirius XM Chief Financial Officer David Frear says despite all that, "I have doubts" about Pandora's strategy and isn't sure about cross-selling opportunities.
Though a development to be reasonably expected should M&A truly be under serious consideration, the situation stays on watch as related uncertainty has driven Pandora (NYSE:P) 20%+ over the last week and Sirius XM Holdings (NASDAQ:SIRI) lower by almost 4%.
Analyst James Cakmak ideates an Amazon (AMZN +2.1%) combination representing greater long-term potential for Pandora's (P +1.6%) customer and business prospects than a rumored Sirius XM Holdings arrangement.
Notes a prospective stock deal would equate to approximately 1% of Amazon's overall market capitalization and the value Amazon could derive from various potential integrations (Alexa, Prime) of the Pandora service.
Bloomberg updates on the development, suggesting Sirius XM Holdings chairman Greg Maffei had expressed new takeover interest for Pandora. Neither a price or a response by Pandora to the approach, however, have been issued.
Liberty Media (NASDAQ:LMCA), Sirius XM Holdings (NASDAQ:SIRI) parent, had prior informally offered $15 per share terms in July.
Pandora (NYSE:P) closes out the week with 16% gains, Sirius XM Holdings 5.6% losses on the situation.
That means Centerview could end up running a sales process for the company, but it wouldn't be the first time that possibility has been raised.
In May, Corvex had sent a letter pressing Pandora to “engage an independent investment bank with a fresh perspective and without any prior history of advising the company to advise on a value maximization process."
In February, Pandora had hired Morgan Stanley -- which had advised Pandora on its 2011 IPO -- to explore a sale, Bloomberg notes.
Sales chatter is not uncommon around Pandora, but had sprung up anew on news that Liberty Media floated a $15/share offer to buy the company and combine it with Sirius XM in recent months.
Much as the site wrote two years ago, dealReporter states Pandora (P +8.3%) is seen potentially attracting buyout interest. It speculates Amazon, Google, and Yahoo could make bids.
Separately, Pandora has added Tony Vinciquerra, a senior advisor to P-E firm TPG and before that the CEO of Fox Networks, to its board. The board now has ten members.
In February, the NYT reported Pandora is "working with Morgan Stanley to meet potential buyers," and has held discussions about selling itself. 35.4M shares (16% of the float) were shorted as of March 1.
Ahead of this afternoon's Q4 report, the NYT reports Pandora (NYSE:P) is "working with Morgan Stanley to meet potential buyers," and has held discussions about selling itself. Shares have jumpedin response.
The paper cautions talks are preliminary. The news comes with Pandora's shares having fallen into the single digits thanks to a market rout and ongoing concerns about competition and user growth/engagement.
Back in Oct. 2014, SA author Orange Peel Investments predicted Pandora would eventually drop to the $10 range, and then get bought out.
Pandora (NYSE:P) is paying $75M in cash for "several key assets" of Web/mobile subscription streaming service Rdio. The purchase is contingent on Rdio seeking bankruptcy protection, after which it will shut down its Rdio-branded service in all markets.
Pandora notes it's not acquiring Rdio's operating business, but instead obtaining technology and talent to help deliver "an expanded Pandora listening experience by late 2016," provided the needed licenses are obtained.
The deal suggests Pandora is getting set to join Spotify, Apple, Google, and others offering a subscription-based, on-demand, music service. The company's existing Pandora One service provides subscription-based, ad-free, listening for Pandora's Web/mobile radio streams.
Shortly following a Re/code report stating a deal is close, Pandora (NYSE:P) has officially announced it's buying small venue-focused online ticket agency Ticketfly for $450M. The deal will have "a nearly equal balance of cash and stock."
Pandora: "The combination of Pandora and Ticketfly will solve the longstanding problem of event discovery by seamlessly connecting Pandora's nearly 80 million monthly active music fans to events they'll love. This will enable artists and promoters to sell out more shows and will strengthen the bond between artists and their fans. The companies will also harness the power of their combined data to create new tools for music makers to increase their revenue and improve recommendations for fans to enhance their overall music experience."
Ticketfly sold 16M tickets last year for 90K+ live events, powers 600+ sites on behalf of clients, and sees an average of 14M monthly unique visitors to its main site and client sites. It provides ticket sales and marketing software for ~1,200 venues.
Re/code reports Pandora (NYSE:P) "appears close" to acquiring Ticketfly, an online ticket agency that specializes in events at smaller venues (rather than competing directly with the likes of StubHub and Ticketmaster for events at bigger venues). Sources state Pandora plans to pay ~$450M in cash and stock.
For reference, Pandora has a current market cap of $4.7B. Buying Ticketfly would represent a major attempt by Pandora to diversify beyond its core Web/mobile radio business, as it deals with Spotify, Apple, Amazon, Google, TuneIn, and a slew of other rivals.
Opportunities could exist for Pandora to cross-promote Ticketfly music events to its ~80M active listeners. In May, Pandora announced the purchase of music analytics firm Next Big Sound.