Sirius and XM: so close, and yet…
Like REALLY REALLY READY.
What everyone wants to know is when their proposed merger — you know the one announced
back in the 1990s in February 2007 will finally close. After 15-months, the individual performance of each company, while important, takes a backseat to knowing when they can combine their efforts. Or, should the deal fall apart, when they can go back to scratching and clawing for the next hot media property (like the “Dr. Phil Channel” or “The 24-hour World Series of Poker Channel.”)
Each company hosted 45-minutes-short conference calls and sent their respective CEOs up to the microphone to say, “We are Ready“, like the Father at a holiday feast proclaiming that the time has come to stop horsing around –he is about to carve the roast beast.
XM’s Nate Davis seemed to say, “You are great, but I hope this is goodbye.”
Let me just say while the process has clearly been a protracted one, we remain hopeful that we are nearing the end of the process and that this will be the last stand-alone quarterly earnings call we will have.
Sirius’ Mel Karmazin comments were a little more, shall we say, pointed.
This is our fifth quarterly conference call since we announced the merger and…
I share the sentiment I hear from many of you regarding the length of time it is taking to complete our transaction. It is almost 350 days on the FCC clock from when it was put on public notice. (Mediafile: He said the FCC usual mulling time is 180 days). We also share the outrage that some have expressed to me regarding press reports of opportunistic parties trying to take advantage of the process and extract value for themselves that properly belongs to Sirius subscribers and shareholders.
I am optimistic that we are getting close to the finish line and will be able to close the deal.
The only problem is, noone knows how close “close” is.
According to Cowen and Co. analyst Tom Watts, that could be, any day now… or not.
The next step toward an FCC approval will be an Order for Circulation issued by FCC Chairman Martin where he will circulate his recommendation and proposal to fellow Commissioners. While timing of this Order is uncertain, its importance implies that an FCC meeting is not necessary to approve the merger.
(Photo: XM CEO Nate Davis, XMRadio.com; Sirius CEO Karmazin, Reuters file)