Pandora could unload a startup it bought for $450 million, as it looks for a buyer

Pandora is currently considering offloading Ticketfly, the ticketing startup it bought for $US450 million in 2015, according to a new report from Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw and Alex Sherman.

When Pandora bought Ticketfly, the idea was that the online-radio pioneer would use its massive trove of user listening data to pump up ticket sales.

Pandora is also looking for someone to buy the entire company, but if that falls through, it could sell just Ticketfly instead, Bloomberg reported.

In its quarterly earnings report last week, Pandora announced it had taken $US150 million from private-equity firm KKR, and given KKR a seat in a boardroom shakeup.

Pandora has endured on-an-off M&A rumours for months, as it tries to re-invent its business with the launch of an on-demand competitor to Spotify and Apple Music. That product finished its rollout last month. But Pandora sceptics don’t think that it can survive as an independent company, and activist investor Corvex has been pushing Pandora to sell for months.

As to who would buy Pandora, many see Liberty Media, which controls satellite-radio powerhouse Sirius XM, as the only real buyer in town. That means Pandora has had to endure stock swings whenever Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei opines on the company.

Most recently, Maffei talked unenthusiastically about Pandora’s KKR investment. “My guess is they needed cash,” Maffei said. “I’m not sure it creates an opportunity. It speaks to the cash needs of their business.”

Pandora declined to comment.

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