Tags: John Malone | Restructure | Liberty Media | Liberty Interactive | Tracking Stocks

John Malone Recapitalizes Liberty Empire, Creates 3 Tracking Stocks

Image: John Malone Recapitalizes Liberty Empire, Creates 3 Tracking Stocks
John Malone of Liberty Media (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Thursday, 12 Nov 2015 01:24 PM

Entities controlled by billionaire John Malone are creating three tracking stocks and spinning off two companies, the latest of multiple, complicated financial maneuvers that have enabled his empire to save taxes and allow targeted investments over the years.

Liberty Media Corp. will form tracking stocks for the Atlanta Braves baseball team and satellite-radio company Sirius XM Holdings Inc., letting investors bet on the baseball and radio assets while Liberty Media will keep interests in Live Nation Entertainment Inc. and minority equity investments in Time Warner Inc. and Viacom Inc., according to a statement Thursday. Separately, Liberty Interactive Corp. will split off two companies, one focused on CommerceHub Inc. and the other on its stake in travel site Expedia Inc.

“It only gets more and more complex and confusing,” said Paul Sweeney, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “It seems the primary driver here is to create cleaner capital structures for each business that may allow for more efficient capital raising for acquisitions, dividends and distributions.”

Liberty Media and Liberty Interactive have both gone through a series of moves in recent years that separated the QVC home-shopping business, as well as holdings in Starz LLC premium cable network and TripAdvisor. The media magnate has used tracking stocks to push for takeovers, such as the Liberty Broadband tracking stock created last year to fund further investments by Charter Communications Inc. Charter has since agreed to buy Time Warner Cable Inc. and Bright House Networks LLC for $55.1 billion and $10.4 billion, respectively.

Liberty Media gained 2.4 percent to $42.01 at 9:58 a.m. in New York, bringing its gains to 18 percent in the past 12 months.

Liberty Media expects to complete the creation of the three new tracking stocks in the first half of 2016.

Meanwhile Liberty Interactive, which is itself structured as two tracking stocks -- QVC and Liberty Ventures, -- will distribute the spinoffs tax-free to shareholders of Liberty Ventures.


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Entities controlled by billionaire John Malone are creating three tracking stocks and spinning off two companies, the latest of multiple, complicated financial maneuvers that have enabled his empire to save taxes and allow targeted investments over the years.
John Malone, Restructure, Liberty Media, Liberty Interactive, Tracking Stocks
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2015-24-12
Thursday, 12 Nov 2015 01:24 PM
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