Liberty rings Sirius bell

Files revised petition with FCC to take over board

John Malone’s Liberty Media made another bid to swallow Sirius Satellite Radio, filing a revised petition with the FCC to take over the company’s board.

Sirius, led by an equally feisty Mel Karmazin, said it is in discussions with Liberty about some sort of transaction that could settle their dispute but didn’t say how.

Liberty is Sirius’ single largest shareholder and asked the commission earlier this year for permission to assume “de facto” control although it doesn’t own a majority stake. Karmazin derided the request, and the FCC denied it.

This time, Liberty said it plans to convert some preferred stock to common stock in order to increase its holding, and install a majority of its own reps on Sirius’ board. It said it would vote all its stake in favor of the new slate of directors and solicit other outside holders to do the same. If it acquires enough additional stock, it said it could move to change the board “by unilateral action.”

In its own filing Thursday Sirius said Liberty has not provided it notice on any of the above.And Sirius said it has “been engaged in discussions with Liberty Media to explore possible transactions with repsect to its ownership interest in Sirius, although we have not reached agreement with respect to a specific transaction that would be mutually beneficiall to both our common and prefered stockholders.” It said there may be no deal.

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