Rumors that Pandora is for sale has pushed the stock up 32% in the last 3 weeks. No specific suitors have been named, but Pandora has said that it is open to the right merger or acquisition. Pandora's market cap is currently $2.61 billion.
Only a handful of companies would seem likely suitors. Google, Amazon and Apple have all been suggested, but media companies like Time Warner could also show interest. Even a cash rich Spotify could put together the needed financing.
Wall Street initially punished Pandora last month, after founder Tim Westergren returned as CEO as part of a major executive restructuring. But several top analysts praised the move, calling Westergren "charismatic" and "visionary." “This is front and center about a company that wants to change its mojo,” Barton Crockett, analyst for FBR Capital Markets told the New York Times. “They have an inspirational founder who has been very prominent within Pandora, and representing Pandora to artists, and is now stepping up to take over the whole operation.”
Now the rumor mill - true or false - is aiding Westergren's effort to reshape Pandora into a profitable company.