AP Photo/Richard Drew, file

SiriusXM today agreed to make a $480 million minority investment into Pandora, in a strategic tie-up between the nation's largest satellite radio provider with its largest Internet radio provider. Pandora, whose stock climbed more than 5% on the news in early Friday trading, also said that it will sell its TicketFly unit to privately-held Eventbrite for $200 million.

How we got here: SiriusXM originally offered to buy Pandora last summer for $3.4 billion, but was rebuffed. It then tried again earlier this year at a much lower price ― Pandora currently is valued at just around $2 billion ― and was turned down again. Then Pandora agreed last month to take a $150 million investment from private equity firm KKR. Sirius responded with this $480 million offer for a minority stake, which was accepted. The KKR deal is now dead, although KKR will receive a $22.5 million break-up fee.

Board shuffle: Sirius will get three seats on Pandora's board of directors, including chairman (KKR had been expected to take one seat). CNBC's David Faber reports that the chairman role may be filled by Sirius CEO Jim Meyer or Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei (Liberty controls Sirius). Maffei would be a particularly interesting choice, given that in March he criticized Pandora management by saying: "It has a better product than other free services. I don't think they've attacked that opportunity as well as they could."

Rough day at the office: KKR might also today have lost out on its play for Toshiba Corp.'s $18 billion chips unit, with an overnight report from Reuters that consortium lead Japan Innovation Network Corp. plans to replace KKR with Bain Capital. We've not yet been able to confirm the flip, with one source close to KKR saying that the deal team was "baffled" upon initially reading the Reuters report.

Go deeper

Over 73 million people watched the first debate on TV

Data: Nielsen; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than 73.1 million people watched the first presidential debate on television on Tuesday night, according to Nielsen ratings.

Why it matters: While that's a sizable audience for any American TV program, it's down more than 13% from the record number of TV viewers who tuned in for the first debate of the 2016 election. The chaotic nature of the debate and the overall uncertainty around this year's election may have pushed some viewers away.

Senate passes bill funding government through December

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Senate on Tuesday passed legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 84-10.

Where it stands: The legislation will avert a government shutdown before funding expires Wednesday night and before the Nov. 3 election. The House passed the same measure last week by a vote of 359-57 after House Democrats and the Trump administration agreed on the resolution.

  • Both sides agreed early in negotiations that the bill should be a "clean" continuing resolution — meaning each party would only make small changes to existing funding levels so the measure would pass through both chambers quickly, Axios' Alayna Treene reported last week. The bill now goes to President Trump for his signature.
Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Technology

The age of engineering life begins

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Synthetic biology startups raised some $3 billion through the first half of 2020, up from $1.9 billion for all of 2019, as the field brings the science of engineering to the art of life.

The big picture: Synthetic biologists are gradually learning how to program the code of life the way that computer experts have learned to program machines. If they can succeed — and if the public accepts their work — synthetic biology stands to fundamentally transform how we live.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!