Pandora acquired by SiriusXM in $3.5bn deal

The satellite radio company on Monday announced plans to acquire streaming music company Pandora for $3.5 billion.

Once the deal goes through, SiriusXM will become the largest audio entertainment company in the entire world.

Pursuant to the new agreement, the owners of the outstanding shares in Pandora that SiriusXM does not now own will receive a fixed exchange ratio of 1.44 newly issued SiriusXM shares for each share of Pandora they hold.

SiriusXM's board of directors and Pandora's directors have unanimously approved the acquisition, which is expected to close at some point during the first quarter next year. Pandora offers both free and paid streaming and relies on an algorithm and user input to curate tracks.

Competitors include privately held streaming service Spotify and tech giant Apple's Apple Music.

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George Soros' hedge fund owned a $56 million stake in Pandora at the end of the second quarter on June 30. Sirius acquired a stake in Pandora a year ago for $480 million, giving the online-radio company a lifeline after upstarts such as Spotify Technology SA began luring away streaming-music subscribers.

Sirius XM's chief executive said in a statement that the acquisition would boost the company's efforts to reach more listeners beyond auto drivers. The Swedish streaming company has 180 million total monthly active users worldwide, with 79 million as subscribers.

"Supporting and strengthening" Pandora's "highly relevant" brand is another (vague) long-term objective, with investments in "content, technology, innovation, and expanded monetization opportunities through both ad-supported and subscription services in and out of the vehicle" set to continue.

There is, however, a chance this will never happen. With this, Pandora "may actively solicit, receive, evaluate and potentially enter negotiations with parties that offer alternative proposals following the execution date of the definitive agreement".

Notably, Pandora invested a lot of time and money in developing its advertising business and setting up regional offices.

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