Liberty May Not Spin Off SiriusXM, Karmazin Expects To Leave
September 13, 2012
When Liberty Media eventually has its majority stake in SiriusXM, the company does not expect to immediately spin off the satcaster. Liberty CEO Greg Maffei said yesterday that they are "in no rush to get out of the Sirius stake" and that the satcaster could eventually make up the core of Liberty's business, according to Reuters.
Speaking to investors at the Merrill Lynch Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference Wednesday, Maffei said a tax-free spinoff of the satcaster could happen eventually, noting that "At some point [a spinoff] may become logical but I don't see that as something we need to get done in the near term."
SiriusXM CEO Mel Karmazin also spoke at the Merrill Lynch conference, hours before Maffei's comments. Karmazin told investors that he could leave the satcaster at the end of 2012, when his contract is up. He added that if he was in Liberty's shoes, he might say, "I'm not sure we need Mel."
"I am certainly open to having a conversation but certainly my instincts today are that Liberty does not need me at the company," Karmazin said, according to Reuters. He added he would be more interested in staying with SiriusXM if Liberty spins the company off back to public shareholders, rather than keeping control.
Karmazin said he also believes Liberty could announce any day now that it has passed the 50 percent threshold and has a majority share of SiriusXM. However, he said that he has had little contact with Maffei or Liberty head John Malone since their gradual takeover began and has not had any conversations about their plans for the satcaster.