For Pandora (P) , a sale could be only a matter of time.
The world's largest internet radio operator announced Monday that it had secured $150 million in new financing from private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts(KKR) - Get Report . Pandora will use the cash infusion, in the form of new Series A convertible preferred stock, for general operations as the company considers its strategic options, including a possible sale, Pandora said in twinstatements.
The KKR stock will yield at least 7.5% and is convertible into common stock at a price of $13.50 a share. Pandora shares were up about 3.8% to $10.79 in premarket trading on Tuesday after gaining in after-hours trading Monday following the announcement.
As part of the financing, KKR's Richard Sarnoff, head of its media investing group for the Americas, will join Pandora's board of directors while an independent committee to be chaired by independent director Timothy Leiweke was formed to identify new directors. Two directors, James M. P. Feuille and Peter Gotcher, also resigned from the board.
The changes heightened speculation that Pandora's board could make changes among its top corporate executives though if a sale is the top priority, executives changes might be premature.
The cash infusion comes as Pandora posted a loss for the ninth consecutive quarter while sales fell short of analyst expectations. Revenue totaled $316 million compared with a $317.3 million average forecast of equity analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The need for the cash was underscored by Pandora's second-quarter sales forecast of $360 million to $375 million which also fell short of expectations for $390 million.
For the past two years, Pandora has struggled to increase the size of its active listener base, and the first quarter was no different. Pandora said it had 76.7 million active listeners whereas Pandora posted 81 million active listeners at the end of 2016.
To be sure, Pandora has made sweeping management changes over the past year in an effort to reach profitability. CEO Tim Westergren returned to company a year ago, hiring a new finance chief and dismissing its head of operations earlier this year. But increased competition from Spotify, Apple (AAPL) - Get Report Music and similar offerings from Amazon(AMZN) - Get Report and Alphabet's (GOOGL) - Get Report Google has made growing difficult, if not impossible.
Pandora continues to bet that its new on-demand service Pandora Premium can grow revenue by converting users of its free internet radio service into paying subscribers.