Liberty Media Nears Sirius Rescue Deal

Company to get stake in Sirius in return for fending off Echostar
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2009 4:21 AM CST
John C. Malone, chairman of the board of Liberty Media, speaks during a stockholders meeting for the company.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, file)
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(Newser) – Sirius XM may have found its white knight just in time, the Financial Times reports. The deadline for the satellite radio firm to restructure its debt or file for bankruptcy protection is today, and Liberty Media is believed to be readying a last-minute rescue deal that would give it a stake in the company in exchange for $250 million in debt payments.

The Liberty deal—seen as a less hostile option than an Echostar takeover—would give John Malone's company several board seats and just under half of Sirius, sources tell the New York Times. The move surprised analysts who see few synergies between the two companies, but embattled Sirius chief Mel Karmazin reportedly saw his options as "Malone or bust."