Sirius (SIRI) Deal With XM (XMSR) Heads For The Barn

March 21, 2008 by Douglas A. McIntyre

The FCC says it is getting closer to announcing its opinion of the Sirius (NASDAQ: SIRI) merger with XM Satellite (NASDAQ: XMSR). That may not be good news. The commission may turn the deal down.

According to The Wall Street Journal FCC boss Kevin Martin said “he had asked his staff to draft a document incorporating a variety of possible outcomes for the merger proposal.”

In the case of the merger, no news is bad news. Aside from the likelihood that a long review may be a result of the FCC and Justice Department building a case again the deal, over the last year the finances of both companies have gotten worse.

In the last quarter, the subscriber growth at XM and Sirius slowed. Both lost money and face tremendous debt service. Each company has more than $1 billion in long-term debt on its balance sheet.

If the merger gets killed, one of the companies may not make it. The balance sheet and P&L problems are just that tight.

Douglas A. McIntyre