Will Liberty Media combine Worldspace and Sirius XM into an international satellite radio company?

Posted: 21 Feb 2010   Print   Send a link
"[I]t’s time to catch up on the fate of another company, WorldSpace. The beleagured international satellite radio has been in Chapter 11 for some time and a deal to sell it fell apart last August. Since then, though, WorldSpace has found a savior in the form of Liberty Media, which has made debtor-in-possession (DIP) loans of millions to keep the company afloat and is leading the DIP lending group which has committed to $21.6 million in financing. Liberty also holds some of WorldSpace’s pre-petition debt and has a right to be a credit bidder to buy the company, which would give it a leg up on any potential cash bidder. (Not that cash bidders have been standing in line to go after WorldSpace.) As it happens, this is the same Liberty Media which rescued Sirius XM from the brink of bankruptcy about a year ago and now holds preferred stock convertible into 40% of Sirius XM’s common stock. As first reported Friday by Satwaves, some buyers of Sirius XM stock are betting that Liberty Media will make a play to buy up the other 60% of Sirius XM, buy WorldSpace out of bankruptcy – and combine the two into an international satellite radio company." RBR-TVBR, 19 February 2010.      "There now seems little doubt that Sirius-XM will soon launch a near-global pay-radio service. There are simply too many clues to ignore, and more might well emerge from Sirius-XCM’s quarterly financials this week. Indeed, some industry observers are suggesting that Worldspace will not only rise from the ashes, but could be the vehicle that emerges as owner of Sirius-XM!! The Worldspace assets of two orbiting satellites are key to Sirius’ global expansion." Chris Forrester, Rapid TV News, 21 February 2010. See previous post about same subject.
     "For a little less than a decade, [Worldspace] provided commercial-free music of a purity and eclectic variety that had devoted listeners totally hooked. Moreover, they had a team of RJ's whose passion for and dedication to the content of their programmes was as palpable as the melody that streamed out of your speakers. The chasm between WS and the other free-to-air FM channels available was vast. The state-run Vividh-Bharti channel in my city, Allahabad, routinely broadcasts commercials not just between songs, but in the middle of a given song, which is then resumed after these rude interruptions." Raj Gandhi, The Hindu, 20 February 2010.