http://money.cnn.com/2007/02/19/news/companies/xm_sirius/index.htm?postversion=2007021914 NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Rivals XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. and Sirius Satellite Radio announced Monday they would enter into a merger of equals, creating a satellite radio giant. XM (Charts) and Sirius (Charts) said they would each own half of the combined company, which would have a market value of roughly $13 billion, including approximately $1.6 billion in net debt. Shock jock Howard Stern has been widely credited for much of Sirius's success, helping the satellite radio operator finish 2006 with more than 6 million subscribers. As part of the deal, XM Chairman Gary Parsons would remain chairman of the combined firm, while Sirius' Mel Karmazin would assume the role of CEO. XM chief executive Hugh Panero will remain as CEO until the merger is completed. The two companies, which have a combined 14 million subscribers, said they had not yet determined a new name for the combined company or where its headquarters would be located. XM shareholders would get 4.6 shares of Sirius stock for each share of XM they own. "This combination is the next logical step in the evolution of audio entertainment," Mel Karmazin, CEO of SIRIUS Satellite Radio said in a statement. The deal would also provide listeners a substantially wider variety of programming. Sirius is currently home to shock jock Howard Stern, while XM boasts a number of shows hosted by high-profile entertainers such as Bob Dylan. "The combined company will be better positioned to compete effectively with the continually expanding array of entertainment alternatives that consumers have embraced since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) first granted our satellite radio licenses a decade ago," Parsons and Panero said in a joint statement.