Sirius XM Canada spin off

Pay-radio operator Sirius XM Canada, an affiliate of the USA’s Sirius XM, is going private. Canada’s Radio-Television & Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has given its approval to a planned transaction which, it says, “will benefit Canadians and Canadian music artists for years to come”.

As a condition of its approval CRTX has directed that Sirius XM Canada must allocate some C$29 million over the next seven years to help promote Canadian musical talent. Sirius XM Canada is also advised to pay a 1 per cent “discretionary” amount to the country’s Broadcast Participation Fund.

The move towards privatisation will see Sirius XM Canada cease to be publicly traded. The broadcaster has 2.7 million total subscribers in Canada, and transmits programming in English and French. The transition to a private company started August last year when shareholders gave their approval for the move.

The transaction towards private status is expected to see the publicly-owned Canadian Broadcasting Corporation divest its (12.5 per cent) stake in Sirius XM Canada. April 30th should see the move close and Sirius XM Canada’s two remaining significant shareholders (Slaight Communications and Obelysk Media) acquire a larger stake in the new private company, alongside the US ‘parent’ company, Liberty-backed Sirius XM.

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