Liberty Media's Malone Says SiriusXM Spinoff Is Inevitable
July 13, 2012
Liberty Media's John Malone said on Thursday that his company acquiring and spinning off SirusXM Radio is essentially an inevitability. According to Bloomberg, Malone told reporters at a conference for Allen & Co. in Idaho, "If I’m in control, I like to have separate companies, run independently, with public shareholders investing in that business. There is no question eventually Sirius will be an independent company. The question is, in what time frame and in what circumstances?" Malone's endgame is for Liberty to gain control of the satcaster, then spin it off as its own individual company again.
Liberty Media, which owns 46 percent of SiriusXM currently, would need FCC approval before any takeover could occur, but Malone also revealed at the conference that he had just dined with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. Malone declined to say any more, however.
Malone added that Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei probably wouldn't want to run SiriusXM, as he already has enough of Liberty's other investments on his plate. Malone did add that SiriusXM CEO Mel Karmazin "does a good job," and according to the New York Post, noted that Karmazin "has incredible incentives [if Liberty takes over]."
He also said that Karmazin should "make peace" with his former boss, Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone. According to Bloomberg, Malone said, "He needs to go back into his history, transport himself back in time, mend his fences with Sumner and be a new person. Relax, enjoy his success, bask in the glory, and enjoy his job. He does a great job. We love him."