Pandora Media shares spiked more than 13% before settling back to an increase of more than 8% this morning after CNBC’s David Faber disclosed that the struggling streaming music company has changed course and is now open to a sale.
Faber stressed that this is still early in the process, with nothing formal to report. The company has a market value of about $3 billion.
The decision could provide an opening for Liberty Media’s SiriusXM. In July, the satellite radio company informally offered to pay about $3.4 billion, or $15 a share, for Pandora — which the board rejected.
Macquarie Capital’s Amy Yong noted last month that Pandora’s announcement at the time that it’s looking for a new CFO “could open the door to change while recent choppy fundamentals could pressure shareholders to unlock strategic value.”
Pandora’s stock price has dropped 13.2% over the last 12 months as investors tired of the company’s inability to excite advertisers, resulting in recurring losses, as it struggled to compete with a wave of powerful rivals including Apple, Google, and Spotify.
The company tried to drum up support for Pandora Premium, a $9.99-a-month music on-demand service it plans to launch next week.
Currently users can listen for free to ad-supported radio-like channels built around their tastes, or pay $4.99 to have the same service without ads.
The three products “create a great upsell path for us and for our existing user base,” CEO Timothy Westergren told analysts in October.
Pandora has flirted before with the possibility of a sale. In February, the New York Times reported that Pandora had hired Morgan Stanley to help find a buyer.
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