Liberty Media Corp. has closed a with MIH Ltd. worth about $177 million to gain a controlling stake in OpenTV Corp.
Pooled with its existing interests, Liberty now controls between 37 percent
and 40 percent of the economic interest and about 85 percent of the voting
interest in the Mountain View, Calif.-based interactive-TV-technology
Liberty paid $46.2 million cash and bought 15.2 million shares to acquire the stake.
Liberty's subsidiary, Liberty Broadband Interactive Television Inc., will own
and manage its stake in OpenTV. LBIT president and CEO Peter Boylan III has been
named chairman of OpenTV's board of directors, while OpenTV CEO James Ackerman
will retain his post.
'Liberty Media's investment should enable us to take interactive television
to another level while creating significant long-term value for our
shareholders,' Ackerman said in a release.
OpenTV's interactive-TV software is deployed in more than 50 countries and 50
cable and satellite networks, reaching more than 27 million households
In the United States, its largest customer is EchoStar Communications Corp.,
which has deployed more than 4 million OpenTV-ready digital-satellite
Although OpenTV has provided a middleware platform up to now, Boylan
indicated when the deal was announced in May that the company will shift its
focus toward applications for interactive TV.