Liberty Media saves Sirius XM Radio

Just when everyone thought Sirius XM Radio was headed for bankruptcy, John Malone and Liberty Media come in to save the company with a significant investment.

Sirius XM Radio won’t have to file for bankruptcy after Liberty Media Corp. agreed to invest $530 million to rescue the satellite radio broadcaster, the companies said Tuesday.

Engelwood, Colo.-based Liberty, the media and entertainment company founded by John Malone, will immediately loan Sirius XM $280 million, about $171 million of which will to pay off debt Sirius had coming due this week.

A second round of $250 million from Liberty (NASDAQ: LCAPA) will also be available to Sirius XM to help it pay its debts and ward off a potential takeover of Sirius by Charlie Ergen’s Dish Network Corp., the Englewood, Colo.-based satellite TV company.

In return for the investment in Sirius XM, Liberty will own 12.5 million shares of preferred stock in Sirius XM (NASDAQ: SIRI), which Liberty can convert into common stock.

That would give Liberty a 40 percent ownership stake in the radio company.

I love having satellite radio and it appears to be a solid business. It just had a terrible balance sheet with way too much debt. Howard Stern can now breathe a little easier.