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SiriusXM Sets $480 Million Investment in Pandora

SiriusXM has struck a deal to invest $480 million in music streaming giant Pandora.

The cash purchase of Pandora stock will give the satellite radio company a 19% stake in Pandora, which has been on the block for some time. The deal includes a provision to curb SiriusXM’s ability to take over the entire company, at least for now, by limiting SiriusXM from acquiring more than 31.5% of Pandora without the approval of the Pandora board.

“This strategic investment in Pandora represents a unique opportunity for SiriusXM to create value for its stockholders by investing in the leader in the ad-supported digital radio business, a space where SiriusXM does not play today,” said SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer. “Pandora’s large user base and its ability to provide listeners with a personalized music experience are tremendous assets. With its strong technology and new product offerings, we believe there are exciting opportunities for Pandora to accelerate its growth and increase value for Pandora and SiriusXM stockholders.”

Rumors of a SiriusXM-Pandora transaction had heated up during the past month even as Pandora cut a deal for an investment from private equity giant Kohlberg, Kravis & Roberts in May. Pandora said it would pay KKR a $22.5 million breakup fee to terminate that deal.

“The investment from SiriusXM infuses resources to help Pandora continue to grow and innovate,” said Pandora CEO and founder Tim Westergren. “With the strategic review behind us, and a strong balance sheet, we look forward to focusing on business execution and the optimization of our strategy.”

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