Liberty Media Lays Out Its Plans To Take Control Of Sirius XM

In an SEC filing this morning, John Malone’s company says that it will convert enough of its preferred shares in the satellite radio provider into common shares to give it 32% of the total votes. Then “as soon as practicable” it will nominate and campaign for a slate of directors that would constitute a majority of the board. Liberty already has five of the 13 seats. In the meantime, Liberty will continue to buy shares in the open market so it could “replace the entire Board of Directors by unilateral action.” The plan comes as Liberty tries to revive its effort to persuade the FCC to give it Sirius XM’s satellite licenses. Malone’s company says it plays such a big role at Sirius XM that it already effectively controls the company. FCC staffers rejected that claim early this month; Liberty laid out its new take-over plans in conjunction with its appeal of that decision. Sirius XM CEO Mel Karmazin has said that if Liberty wants to buy the company, then it should pay existing investors a premium price for their shares. Malone’s plan would not do that. Still, he might find enough investors willing to sell: Sirius XM shares have lost more than 20% of their value over the last 12 months. The stock price is up slightly in pre-market trading. (more…)

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