Liberty Media takes Sirius XM stake above 50%


Sirius XMLiberty Media said in a 1/17 regulatory filing that it has bought a further 50 million shares of common stock in Sirius XM Radio to raise its holdings in the satellite radio company to just over a majority stake—50.7%. According to the Form 4 filing with the SEC, Liberty bought the shares at of $3.16 each for a total consideration of about $158 million. The controlling stake will enable Liberty Chairman John Malone to go ahead with possible plans to spin the company off like he did with Starz.

Following the share purchase, Liberty owns about 2.0 billion shares of common stock in Sirius XM. Liberty Media had also earlier in the week converted its remaining preferred stock in Sirius XM to common stock.

Liberty had increased its stake in Sirius XM to 49.7% in early September from 49.2%. Liberty became Sirius’ largest shareholder in 2009 after it gave the company a $530 million loan to rescue it from bankruptcy. The move to boost its stake to a majority stake came after a provision to prevent Liberty from owning a stake of more than 49.5% in Sirius expired in March 2012. The restriction was in place as per the terms of that loan.

Liberty then applied for a clearance from the FCC to exercise control over the company, which it recently got.