Pandora exploring interest of suitors beyond SiriusXM, sources tell CNBC

Pandora exploring interest of suitors beyond SiriusXM, sources tell CNBC

Pandora is looking at potential acquirers beyond SiriusXM as of Wednesday, sources told CNBC.

The strategy could give Pandora leverage if satellite radio company SiriusXM pursues serious negotiations about a potential deal, the sources said.

CNBC reported last week that the music streaming service was open to selling itself and was willing to engage with one-time suitor SiriusXM, according to people familiar with the matter.

At that time, one person referred to the situation as being "the first inning of the process," with no assurance that Pandora will reach a deal with SiriusXM or other potentially interested parties.

But separately, Reuters reported last week that Pandora is making no new effort to sell itself and is focused on executing its strategy and its operating model. It cited an unidentified source.

Pandora declined to comment on the reports, citing policy against commenting on rumor or speculation. A SiriusXM representative also declined to comment.

Pandora has faced pressure to sell itself from activist investor Corvex Management, a hedge fund run by Keith Meister.

Pandora's board rejected an informal $15-a-share offer from Liberty's CEO Greg Maffei in July, according to The Wall Street Journal on the belief it could get a higher price elsewhere. Pandora shares rose about 0.5 percent on Wednesday.

SiriusXM shares rose 2 percent Wednesday, while Liberty Media's Class A shares rose less than 0.2 percent.

Meanwhile, Pandora revealed a new Premium subscription on Wednesday to better keep pace with rivals.

It all comes amid fiercer competition in the online streaming space, with Apple, Google and Amazon moving to compete with Pandora and Spotify. Spotify has also reportedly looked to team up with SoundCloud, according to the Financial Times.