It seems that the top management at XM and SIRI have made it official, they announced today that they're going to attempt a merger. XM (XMSR, 13.98) and Sirius Satellite Radio (SIRI, 3.70) agreed to combine in a $13 billion merger of equals, amid concerns about slowing growth and the cost to build up their programming content and subscriber bases. However, the deal, which is expected to result in substantial cost savings, still faces significant regulatory hurdles.
In other words, no real money changes hands, just funny money.
Under the terms of the agreement, XM shareholders would receive 4.6 Sirius shares for each XM share held, or a 21.7% premium based on the two companies' closing prices on Friday. While the deal was billed as a merger of equals, Sirius would own about 53% of the combined company, which would have had about $1.5 billion in revenues in 2006 and about 14 million subscribers, and XM would own roughly 47%. In other words, no real money changes hands, just funny money.
The deal must overcome significant regulatory obstacles, including an FCC provision that specifically restricts the two companies from merging. It must also meet antitrust approval from the Department of Justice. Pending regulatory approval, the companies expect the transaction to be completed by the end of 2007.