John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Sirius to Shareholders: Put Down the Mylanta

sirius-libertyInvestors holding shares in foundering satellite radio outfit Sirius XM just received a bit of welcome news. The company has closed its investment deal with Liberty Media. “We are excited to have closed the second and final phase of our investment agreement with Liberty Media,” Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin said in a statement. “It is an example of the confidence our that lenders and Liberty have in our business model. These transactions resolve all of the uncertainty surrounding the company’s and its subsidiaries’ debt maturing in 2009.”

Good thing too, because that uncertainty was pretty worrisome. Buried in the company’s recent Notification of Late Filing with the SEC, along with the now standard warning about the souring economy’s effect on business, was this little disclosure:

Management has not yet completed its evaluation as to whether substantial doubt exists relative to the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern for a reasonable period of time. A significant element of that evaluation relates to uncertainties associated with funding of amounts stipulated in the aforementioned Investment Agreements. These uncertainties may not be resolved by the time the Company files its Form 10-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In the event such uncertainties remain unresolved, management anticipates that KPMG LLP’s auditors’ report relative to the Company’s 2008 consolidated financial statements will contain an explanatory paragraph indicating substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern.

In addition to resulting in termination of further funding pursuant to the Investment Agreements, the inclusion of such a paragraph by KPMG LLP would result in a default under certain indebtedness of the Company, XM Holdings and XM Satellite Radio Inc. (“XM Inc.”) which defaults, if not cured or waived prior to the expiration of the applicable grace period, would result in an event of default under other indebtedness of the Company, XM Holdings and XM Inc. Such events of default, if they occur, provide the lenders the right to demand all amounts due under the respective agreements immediately due and payable.

What this means is that if KPMG’s assessment of the company is that it’s not able to continue as a “going concern” and the company had not at that time resolved its debt issues, it would automatically default. Presumably, now that Sirius (SIRI) has closed the Liberty (LINTA) deal, that’s no longer a possibility. Looming crisis averted.

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