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Last week, Liberty Media bought another 31 million shares (0.5 per cent) in Sirius-XM, taking its stake in the pay-radio broadcasters to 49.8 per cent. Liberty Media is awaiting Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulatory approval to move beyond the 50 per cent threshold and take full control of Sirius-XM.
The FCC is expected to make its decision during the next few weeks. Sirius-XM’s CEO Mel Karmazin is already voting with his feet and has announced he will leave in February.
Liberty bailed out Sirius-XM from near-bankruptcy in 2009 when it loaned the business $530 million, which was converted to preferred stock but with a restriction limiting Liberty to a 49.5 per cent stake, a clause that expired back in March.