An affiliate of John Malone’s Liberty Media Corp. FWONA, -2.93% is seeking Justice Department permission to buy a larger piece of iHeartMedia Inc., IHRT, -1.42% according to people familiar with the matter, a deal that would put the nation’s largest radio broadcaster under the same corporate umbrella as the leading concert promoter and satellite-radio giant SiriusXM.
Liberty owns a 4.8% stake in iHeart through Liberty SiriusXM Group; the deal now under consideration could give it control or outright ownership of the broadcaster, according to people familiar with the matter.
The government is considering the request, the people said, with one of them cautioning that Liberty hasn’t decided what kind of transaction, if any, it would proceed with should it receive permission.
Liberty acquired its iHeart stake via debt it took on before the company restructured, which converted to equity when the broadcaster emerged from bankruptcy early this year.
Liberty owns 33% of Live Nation Entertainment Inc., making it the concert giant’s largest shareholder, and 71% of satellite-radio company Sirius XM Holdings Inc. SIRI, +0.29%
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