March 14 Shares of Liberty Media Corp
rose as much as 9.4 percent after the company, controlled by
chairman John Malone, canceled an offer to buy the rest of
satellite radio provider Sirius XM Holdings Inc.
Shares of Sirius, 53 percent owned by Liberty, rose 3.2
percent in afternoon trading after the company said on Friday it
would resume its $2 billion share buyback program, which had
been suspended in connection with Liberty's offer.
Buying the rest of Sirius would have beefed up Liberty's
That would have helped Malone finance a now-defunct bid by
Charter Communications Inc, another of his companies,
for Time Warner Cable Inc.
"The difficulties may have proved too much," Northland
Capital Markets analyst Tom Eagan wrote in a note.
Although Liberty Media dropped its bid, it said on Thursday
it was still in discussions with Sirius's independent directors.
Some analysts said Liberty could still pursue a transaction
Liberty said on Thursday it planned to split its cable and
media holdings into two tracking stocks - Liberty Broadband
Group and Liberty Media Group - later this year.
Liberty Media will own the Sirius stake, apart from other
assets such as investments in Live Nation Entertainment Inc
and the Atlanta Braves baseball team.
Liberty Media could ultimately merge with Sirius as a pure
satellite radio entity, Wunderlich Securities analyst Matthew
Barclays Equity Research analyst Kannan Venkateshwar said
Liberty could also spin off its Sirius stake via a Reverse
Morris Trust, a transaction that allows a parent company to sell
its unit in a tax-efficient manner.
Liberty shares were up 8.5 percent at $136.82 in afternoon
trading on the Nasdaq on Friday. Sirius shares were up 3.4
percent at $3.48.
(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bangalore; Editing by