Will Sirius invest in — instead of buy — Pandora?

You have to wonder if those companies that provide insurance coverage for employees of Pandora are filling a lot more claims for whiplash.

I mean, if I worked at Pandora, I probably would be in a neck brace due to all the back-and-forth over more than a year of reports about whether the internet radio company is — or isn’t — up for sale.

Much of the sale talk has involved satellite radio leader Sirius XM, which is majority-owned by Liberty Media. Depending on which day of the week it is, there always seems to be a new report that Sirius, or Liberty, is interested in making an offer for Pandora — at the right price.

Well, now it seems like Sirius might be looking at not buying Pandora, but just investing in the company.

According to Reuters, the ever-popular “people familiar with the matter” say Sirius is considering making what’s called a “private investment in public equity,” also known as, yes, a PIPE. Sirius is said to be going toward the investment route after talks about Sirius buying all of Pandora broke down due to the price of the deal.

Sirius may have also looked at the calendar and decided it needs to make a deal soon, if not yesterday.

Last month, Pandora agreed to take a $150 million investment from KKR, which is best-known for its private-equity buyouts. That deal also included adding a KKR official to Pandora’s board of directors, and stoked speculation that KKR would press for taking Pandora private, or selling itself. That deal also gave Pandora 30 days to look for an alternative offer, and that 30 days comes to an end today.

For Pandora’s part, it has largely been quiet about what its plans are regarding whether it will remain independent or become part of another company. Chief Executive Tim Westergren has, at times, said Pandora’s future lies in pursuing its music-streaming efforts on its own, and has set a target of Pandora reaching $4 billion in revenue by 2020. On the other hand, Corvex Management, an activist shareholder fund that owns 8.6 percent of Pandora, has openly said the company should explore selling itself.

So, who knows what may come of the Sirius investment reports. In the meantime, there are likely to be some more sore necks and trips to the doctor among Pandora employees as the uncertainty about the company’s future goes on.

Photo: Dylan Kongos, of the band Kongos, performs onstage during Pandora Presents: Kongos with The Strumbellas on May 16, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. Satellite radio company Sirius XM may be looking at investing in, and not buying, Pandora. (Jason Davis/Getty Images for Pandora)


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