Pandora Shares Surge on Report of Deal Talks With Sirius XM

Pandora Sale a Likely Exit Amid Growth Challenges

Pandora Media Inc. shares jumped as much as 10 percent in late trading after the New York Post reported the online-radio company is in talks for a sale to Sirius XM Holdings Inc.

Sirius XM, the satellite-radio provider controlled by billionaire John Malone, is discussing the size of a potential offer with Pandora’s advisers, which include Morgan Stanley, Centerview Partners and Allen & Co., the Post reported, citing unidentified sources.

Pandora declined to comment to Bloomberg News. Sirius XM didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Pandora, led by Chief Executive Officer Tim Westergren, stepped up its search for an acquirer last week after announcing a $150 million investment from private equity firm KKR & Co. and the creation of an independent board committee. Investors such as hedge fund Corvex Management LP have questioned Pandora’s strategy and urged a possible sale because of losses and a tumbling stock price.

The online-radio company is poised to evaluate any strategic options, including a sale, in the 30 days before the KKR deal closes, board member James M.P. Feuille said last week in a statement. Feuille will be stepping down from the board, as will Peter Gotcher.

Sirius XM has sometimes expressed interest in doing a deal for Pandora, though executives have downplayed their desire for a merger on other occasions, saying the online-radio provider is too expensive.

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