Company asks FCC to approve change in control
Liberty Media is poised to take control of Sirius XM Satellite Radio in the coming weeks as John Malone’s holding company amasses a more than 50% stake in the radio satcaster.Liberty filed an application with the FCC on Friday to approve the transfer of control Sirius once it completes a series of stock purchases that will boost its stake from 46% at present to more than 50%. In a filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Sirius said it would “cooperate fully” with the FCC’s evaluation of Liberty’s application. That marks a sea change from Sirius’ stance on Liberty’s takeover maneuvers during the past two years. Liberty bailed Sirius out of dire financial straits in 2009 with a loan that kept the company afloat. Since then, however, Malone and Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin have been jousting over Liberty’s efforts to take control of the satcaster, which has about 22.9 million subscribers. Amid the takeover talk, Sirius shares have been on the upswing during the past three months, closing Friday at $2.56.