Pandora has largely been overshadowed by Spotify in the world of music streaming, but it's still alive and kicking. Back in August, Pandora Premium support was finally added to Google Assistant, and T-Mobile began giving customers a year of Pandora Plus. Now the company has been acquired in an all-stock transaction by SiriusXM, valued at approximately $3.5 billion.
If you're not familiar with SiriusXM, it's a broadcasting company primarily known for its satellite radio stations. Sirius also offers a subscription for listening to stations online, so it makes sense that the company would want to purchase Pandora.
Sirius hopes that the deal will, "[leverage] SiriusXM's exclusive content and programming with Pandora's ad-supported and subscription tiers to create unique audio packages, while also utilizing SiriusXM's extensive automotive relationships to drive Pandora's in-car distribution."
The purchase is still waiting on approval by the U.S. FTC and by Pandora's stockholders. Assuming everything goes according to plan, the acquisition should be finalized in the first quarter of 2019.
NEW YORK and OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) and Pandora Media, Inc. (NYSE: P) today announced a definitive agreement under which SiriusXM will acquire Pandora in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $3.5 billion. The combination creates the world's largest audio entertainment company, with more than $7 billion in expected pro-forma revenue in 2018 and strong, long-term growth opportunities.
This strategic transaction builds on SiriusXM's position as the leader in subscription radio and a critically-acclaimed curator of exclusive audio programming with the addition of the largest U.S. audio streaming platform. Pandora's powerful music platform will enable SiriusXM to significantly expand its presence beyond vehicles into the home and other mobile areas. Following the completion of the transaction, there will be no immediate change in listener offerings.
The combined company will drive long-term growth by:
- Capitalizing on cross-promotion opportunities between SiriusXM's base of more than 36 million subscribers across North America and 23 million-plus annual trial listeners and Pandora's more than 70 million monthly active users, which represents the largest digital audio audience in the U.S.
- Leveraging SiriusXM's exclusive content and programming with Pandora's ad-supported and subscription tiers to create unique audio packages, while also utilizing SiriusXM's extensive automotive relationships to drive Pandora's in-car distribution.
- Continuing investments in content, technology, innovation, and expanded monetization opportunities through both ad-supported and subscription services in and out of the vehicle.
- Supporting and strengthening Pandora's highly relevant brand.
- Creating a promotional platform for emerging and established artists, curated and personalized in ways to deliver the most compelling audio experience that connects artists to their fan bases, as well as new listeners.
Jim Meyer, Chief Executive Officer of SiriusXM, said, "We have long respected Pandora and their team for their popular consumer offering that has attracted a massive audience, and have been impressed by Pandora's strategic progress and stronger execution. We believe there are significant opportunities to create value for both companies' stockholders by combining our complementary businesses. The addition of Pandora diversifies SiriusXM's revenue streams with the U.S.'s largest ad-supported audio offering, broadens our technical capabilities, and represents an exciting next step in our efforts to expand our reach out of the car even further. Through targeted investments, we see significant opportunities to drive innovation that will accelerate growth beyond what would be available to the separate companies, and does so in a way that also benefits consumers, artists, and the broader content communities. Together, we will deliver even more of the best content on radio to our passionate and loyal listeners, and attract new listeners, across our two platforms."
Roger Lynch, Chief Executive Officer of Pandora, said, "We've made tremendous progress in our efforts to lead in digital audio. Together with SiriusXM, we're even better positioned to take advantage of the huge opportunities we see in audio entertainment, including growing our advertising business and expanding our subscription offerings. The powerful combination of SiriusXM's content, position in the car, and premium subscription products, along with the biggest audio streaming service in the U.S., will create the world's largest audio entertainment company. This transaction will deliver significant value to our stockholders and will allow them to participate in upside, given SiriusXM's strong brand, financial resources and track record delivering results."
Pursuant to the agreement, the owners of the outstanding shares in Pandora that SiriusXM does not currently own will receive a fixed exchange ratio of 1.44 newly issued SiriusXM shares for each share of Pandora they hold. Based on the 30-day volume-weighted average price of $7.04 per share of SiriusXM common stock, the implied price of Pandora common stock is $10.14 per share, representing a premium of 13.8% over a 30-day volume-weighted average price. The transaction is expected to be tax-free to Pandora stockholders. SiriusXM currently owns convertible preferred stock in Pandora that represents a stake of approximately 15% on an as-converted basis.
The merger agreement provides for a "go-shop" provision under which Pandora and its Board of Directors may actively solicit, receive, evaluate and potentially enter negotiations with parties that offer alternative proposals following the execution date of the definitive agreement. There can be no assurance this process will result in a superior proposal. Pandora does not intend to disclose developments about this process unless and until its Board of Directors has made a decision with respect to any potential superior proposal.
The transaction has been unanimously approved by both the independent directors of Pandora and by the board of directors of SiriusXM.
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019. It is subject to approval by Pandora stockholders, expiration or termination of any applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and certain competition laws of foreign jurisdictions and other customary closing conditions.
SiriusXM Reiterates Full Year 2018 Outlook
SiriusXM reiterated its full-year 2018 guidance provided on July 25, 2018, with self-pay net subscriber additions of approximately 1.15 million; revenue over $5.7 billion; adjusted EBITDA of approximately $2.175 billion, and free cash flow of approximately $1.5 billion.
Pandora Reiterates Q3 2018 Guidance
Pandora reiterated its third quarter 2018 guidance provided on July 31, 2018, with revenue of $390 million to $405 million and Adjusted EBITDA of ($25) million to ($10) million.
Conference Call Information
SiriusXM will hold a conference call to discuss this transaction today, September 24, 2018 at 8:30 AM ET. The dial-in information for participants is (866) 610-1072 (Domestic) and +1 (973) 935-2840 (International). The passcode for both numbers is 7138655. Investors will have the opportunity to listen to the conference call live and access the accompanying presentation slides on each company's investor relations tabs on each company's website, http://investor.siriusxm.com or http://investor.pandora.com.
Participants are encouraged to register at least 15 minutes early to download and install any necessary software. For those who cannot listen to the live broadcast, a telephonic replay will be available through October 8, 2018 by dialing (800) 585-8367 (Domestic) and +1 (404) 537-3406 (International), passcode 7138655. An archived version of the replay will also be available at http://investor.siriusxm.com or http://investor.pandora.com.
Allen & Company LLC and BofA Merrill Lynch are serving as financial advisors to SiriusXM and Baker Botts LLP and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP are serving as its legal counsel. Centerview Partners LLC, LionTree Advisors LLC and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC are serving as financial advisors to Pandora and Sidley Austin LLP is acting as legal counsel.
Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) is the world's largest radio company measured by revenue and has approximately 33.5 million subscribers. SiriusXM creates and offers commercial-free music; premier sports talk and live events; comedy; news; exclusive talk and entertainment, and a wide-range of Latin music, sports and talk programming. SiriusXM is available in vehicles from every major car company and on smartphones and other connected devices as well as online at siriusxm.com. SiriusXM radios and accessories are available from retailers nationwide and online at SiriusXM. SiriusXM also provides premium traffic, weather, data and information services for subscribers through SiriusXM Traffic™, SiriusXM Travel Link, NavTraffic®, NavWeather™. SiriusXM delivers weather, data and information services to aircraft and boats through SiriusXM Aviation™ and SiriusXM Marine™. In addition, SiriusXM Music for Business provides commercial-free music to a variety of businesses. SiriusXM holds a minority interest in SiriusXM Canada which has approximately 2.6 million subscribers. SiriusXM is also a leading provider of connected vehicles services, giving customers access to a suite of safety, security, and convenience services including automatic crash notification, stolen vehicle recovery assistance, enhanced roadside assistance and turn-by-turn navigation.
Pandora is the world's most powerful music discovery platform—a place where artists find their fans and listeners find music they love. We are driven by a single purpose: unleashing the infinite power of music by connecting artists and fans, whether through earbuds, car speakers, or anywhere fans want to experience it. Pandora's team of highly trained musicologists analyze hundreds of attributes for each recording which powers our proprietary Music Genome Project®, delivering billions of hours of personalized music tailored to the tastes of each music listener, full of discovery, making artist/fan connections at unprecedented scale. Founded by musicians, Pandora empowers artists with valuable data and tools to help grow their careers and connect with their fans.