Mel continues selling SiriusXM stock


Mel KarmazinAccording to a recently filed Form 4, SiriusXM CEO Mel Karmazin continued his preplanned conversion of stock options and sold another 20,362,700 shares of stock. The sale increases the number of shares Liberty Media needs to purchase to go over 50% ownership. The actions occurred on Sept. 17, 18, and 19. The sale on the 17th was 3,462,700 shares and closed out a first 10b5-1 plan, bringing the total to 60 million shares. The sales on the 18th and 19th totaled 16.900,000 shares, with 13.1 million shares to be sold under the second 10b5-1 plan.

RBR-TVBR observation: When employees exercise incentive stock options, as Karmazin just did, new shares are issued. We can assume Liberty Chairman John Malone will be authorizing their purchase. We have to wonder if exercising these options now would imply Mel’s betting the company will tank if he leaves. But would he really think the stock would go down after a large, deep-pocketed media company takes over—enough to bet so much of his ownership?