Friday, June 15, 2012

Sirius And Liberty Wrestle For Control

The fight for ownership of SiriusXM continues to play out as Liberty Media tries to buy enough shares of the stock to claim ownership of the asset.  Mel Karmazin, current CEO, has no interest in ceding control and is known for not liking to be less than lead dog in the fight.

"At the heart of the battle appears to be Mr. Karmazin's conviction that Liberty shouldn't get control of Sirius without paying for it."  Which seems to mean that Karmazin is happy to depart if he gets his fair share.  With options currently valued near $170 million, the higher Karmazin can get Liberty to pay for the stock, the more money he can earn.  And while financial reward may not be Karmazin's only win, it sure can lessen the blow of losing control to Liberty.

But it isn't all about the money and for Karmazin, perhaps the question would be, what would the next act in his career look like.  He may not want to start over again with another company and might hope that his work with Sirius can continue a while longer, provided that he can still maintain full control.  But should Liberty ultimately take ownership, that might not be possible.

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