Sirius XM shares are — wait for it — higher!
Sirius XM shareholders have seen a lot of dark days — face it, we’re talking about a stock that dropped to 15 cents a share. But today isn’t one of them. At least so far.
Indeed, shares of the satellite radio company jumped 100 percent after Liberty Media Corp agreed to lend it $530 million, allowing Sirius XM and its leader, Mel Karmazin, to sidestep a debt crisis.
The deal comes after a breathless week during which Sirius XM came under threat from EchoStar Corp and its top man Charles Ergen, a longtime rival of Karmazin, and looked very close to bankruptcy.
Now, Liberty Media Corp and yet another media mogul, John Malone, have come to the rescue. Here’s the deal, according to Reuters:
Under the agreement, Liberty would first provide a $280 million senior secured loan to Sirius XM, of which $250 million would be funded on Tuesday to help the satellite radio company repay $171.6 million in convertible notes maturing today.
Then Liberty would provide another $150 million loan to XM Satellite Radio, Sirius XM’s wholly owned subsidiary, and also purchase up to $100 million of XM’s credit facilities.
Once the loans are completed, Sirius XM would issue Liberty 12.5 million shares of preferred stock convertible into 40 percent of common stock.
While the markets are sorting through what all this means, you may want to check out a piece that ran in the Wall Street Journal this morning. It takes an interesting look at how Karmazin got himself into this crazy spot in the first place…
Last summer, after the long-awaited merger of Sirius with rival XM was finally completed, Mr. Karmazin needed to refinance more than $1 billion in debt that the combined company needed to pay off in 2009. But the 65-year-old chairman decided to hold off. The refinancing terms available, he said during an interview in early September, were “ugly” and he was under “no pressure” to get it done immediately.
But the looming deadline provided an opportunity for Charles Ergen….
As of this morning, it looks like he may have wiggled out of Ergen’s grasp. The question is, how does this play out long term?
Keep an eye on:
- Facebooks chief executive is trying to reassure users they they control their information, not the website (NY Times)
- Agency fees are the latest casualty in Anheuser-Busch InBev’s quest to trim $1.5 billion in costs out of the world’s largest brewer (AdAge.com)