Advisory firms back satellite merger


With the vote a week from tomorrow, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) has advised its clients to vote for the merger of XM and Sirius Satellite Radio. "From a strategic viewpoint, it appears that combination would allow shareholders of both companies to participate in the expected benefits of a larger entity. Our review of Wall Street research reports suggest that operational and cost savings would yield estimated synergies of approximately six billion," ISS said in its advice to shareholders. ISS is regarded as the most influential proxy advisor for institutional shareholders. Rival advisor Glass, Lewis & Co. had earlier issued a similar recommendation that shareholders should vote for the merger.

RBR/TVBR observation: Of course. We absolutely agree that monopoly is a great deal for shareholders – but not for anyone else. It is hard to imagine why anyone who owns XM or Sirius shares would vote no. Of course, those aren’t the important votes. Still to be heard from are the regulatory authorities – the antitrust watchdogs at DOJ and the folks at the FCC. We wouldn’t bet on yes votes there.