After months of negotiations, Comcast Corp. said it agreed to sell its 57.5%
interest in home shopping channel QVC Inc. to Liberty Media Corp. for $7.9
The deal will give Liberty full ownership of QVC –- it already owns 42.5% --
and the network's nearly $1 billion in annual cash flow.
The deal also comes at a time when Liberty is one of five bidders for Vivendi
Universal’s U.S. entertainment assets.
According to the deal, Liberty would pay the purchase price in a combination
of cash and/or a three-year unsecured note and by issuing Liberty common stock
not to exceed 7.5% of shares outstanding, or about 218 million shares.
“This has been a very difficult decision for Comcast,” president
Brian Roberts said in a prepared statement.
“QVC is an exceptional and unique business, but we took a very disciplined
financial approach to our evaluation," he added. "The cable business continues to be our
core focus. With the opportunity to sell at an attractive valuation in excess of
$14 billion, we have the flexibility to improve our already-strong financial
position and to invest for future growth. I believe this is a terrific outcome
for both parties.”
More on this breaking story as it develops.