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In Play Today: Sirius in talks to buy Pandora; Sprint, T-Mobile in deal talks

S&P Global Market Intelligence presents In Play Today, a periodic summary of potential deal activity in the sector, including rumored transactions. This summary is based on information obtained by S&P Global Market Intelligence and may not be inclusive of all potential deal activity. Send comments and news leads to


* Sirius XM Holdings Inc. is considering a bid to acquire Pandora Media Inc., the New York Post reported May 17, citing sources. Sirius is reportedly engaged in "active discussions" with Pandora's banks about the size of a potential bid, which one industry insider believes could be in the range of $12 a share to $13 a share. However, sources with knowledge of the talks dismissed the price range.

* In an effort to focus on its music streaming service, Pandora Media is mulling off-loading Ticketfly Inc., the company's ticketing business that it bought in 2015, Bloomberg News reported May 15, citing people with knowledge of the matter. The music streaming platform, which is facing increased competition from other streaming services including Spotify, recently announced a $150 million strategic investment by private equity firm KKR & Co. LP. Pandora reportedly will consider selling Ticketfly separately if it could not find a buyer for the entire company.

* Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc. have reinitiated talks to explore a possible merger between the two companies, Bloomberg News reported May 12, citing sources with knowledge of the matter. The informal talks come after SoftBank Group Corp. CEO Masayoshi Son said that merging Sprint with T-Mobile would be a "first priority," while Deutsche Telekom AG CEO Timotheus Höttges also indicated that he is open to talks regarding potential strategic combinations of businesses in the industry.

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* Globalstar Inc. has hired financial advisers to explore a possible sale of the company, Bloomberg News reported May 12, citing people with knowledge of the matter. Potential suitors reportedly could include major cable and wireless companies, as Globalstar owns LTE wireless spectrum that is compatible with wireless carriers and current smartphone chips.

* Liberty Global plc's CEO Mike Fries rejected recent speculation that the pan-European cable giant would mount a takeover bid for ITV Plc. Speaking during a May 8 earnings call, Fries said there is "no change at all" regarding the group's position after the recent departure of ITV's former CEO Adam Crozier put the company's long-term direction into question.


* Sony Corp.'s Sony Pictures Entertainment is considering bidding for FUNimation Entertainment Ltd., formerly known as Funimation Productions, Bloomberg News reported May 4, citing people close to the situation. Comcast Corp.'s Universal Pictures, which has a multiyear agreement for the distribution of FUNimation's DVDs, also weighed a bid but decided not to push through, according to one of the sources.