Monday, February 19, 2007

Paperstand - Sirius and XM to merge

The NY Post reports that satellite radio operators Sirius (SIRI) and XM (XMSR) are expected to announce their long-awaited merger today. The two sides were locked in negotiations over the weekend trying to hammer out a final agreement with an eye toward going public with the merger today. The transaction is expected to be structured as a merger of equals, but given Sirius' higher enterprise value, shareholders in the Mel Karmazin-led firm will likely come away with a larger percentage of a combined company. XM Chairman Gary Parsons will retain that title in the combined entity, with Karmazin likely taking the CEO role. It is unclear what role, if any, XM CEO Hugh Panero will play.

The WSJ reports that DaimlerChrysler (DCX) is moving forward with preparations to sell or spin off the Chrysler Group, raising the prospect that it could auction off the embattled US unit in the coming months. The co has already received several expressions of interest from around the world for Chrysler since saying last week that it was considering "all options" to turn around the unprofitable operation. DaimlerChrysler has also said it is interested in using alliances and partnerships to help Chrysler cut costs and expand sales in fast-growing intl mkts. It is already talking to General Motors about joining forces to develop a large SUV.