Pandora said to be searching for a buyerBy Shawn Knight
Pandora's ownership may soon change hands. Sources familiar with the matter tell The New York Times that the Internet radio service has commissioned Morgan Stanley to help it meet with potential buyers.
Spokespeople for Pandora and Morgan Stanley declined to comment on the matter, the Times said.
Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter told Reuters that be believes Amazon, Hulu and Yahoo could be among the potential buyers of Pandora. Pachter added that he believes the company is really valuable and doesn't think Pandora will accept a deal if they're offered less than $20 a share.
Needham & Co analyst Laura Martin said any company that views music as a cornerstone of their strategy should be interested in bidding for Pandora.
Late last year, the streaming music pioneer spent $450 million in cash and stock to acquire San Francisco-based ticketing agency Ticketfly. A month later, the firm purchased assets from now-defunct rival Rdio for $75 million.
Given the acquisitions and the fact that Pandora had nearly 80 million active users at the end of September, one would be forgiven to think that Pandora was doing fine. But with increased competition from longtime rival Spotify, newcomer Apple and soon-to-be competitor Amazon, Pandora has been feeling the squeeze. What's more, a December ruling from the Copyright Royalty Board increased the amount of money Pandora has to pay per 100 songs played by its customers.
Shares in Pandora are up 8.45 percent in after-hours trading as of writing.