For months, there have been whispers that Pandora is looking to sell, and they’re only getting louder. A new report by the Wall Street Journal says that Liberty Media recently floated an offer to buy the streaming company. No deal has been reached, though, as Pandora was apparently underwhelmed by the $15 a share — or about $3.4 billion — that was offered.
Pandora’s 80 million listeners make it attractive to other streaming and radio services, including SiriusXM, which Liberty Media controls through a 64 percent stake. There’s also the potential for a tie-in with LiveNation, given Liberty Media’s 34 percent stake. The companies could make a powerful combination, if they’re able to make a deal. At this point, though, it sounds like Pandora is hoping for a better offer. The Journal’s insiders shared that the company’s board believes its actual value is closer to $20 a share.
The recent offer is said to have been an attempt to test the waters. Liberty Media could presumably still come back with a higher number. The $15-a-share offer valued the company at more than $3.4 billion, and an offer of $20 a share would bring that number up to more than $4.5 billion.
Comments from Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei do indicate that his company is struggling to win over Pandora. After the executive highlighted the benefits of SiriusXM and Pandora being united at a private investor meeting in June, he was asked why no deal had been reached. “You’d have to ask the Pandora board,” he reportedly said.
Of course, it’s worth noting that Pandora’s business is currently not what it once was. Shares peaked at $40 in 2014 but are now trading at $12.24.
We reached out to Pandora, and a company representative declined to comment.