Liberty Interactive took steps toward the ultimate spin-off of its QVC shopping channel into a separate tracking stock Friday, agreeing to move its digital commerce assets into a separate entity Liberty Ventures.
According to Liberty Interactive, digital assets worth about $1.5 billion -- Bodybuiding.com, Backcountry.com. CommerceHub, Evite, Provide Commerce and The Right Start – and $1 billion in cash were attributed to Liberty Ventures. In return Liberty Interactive shareholders will receive 67.67 million shares of Liberty Ventures common stock (0.14 shares of Liberty Ventures stock for each Liberty Interactive share they own). As a result, Liberty Interactive, which includes QVC and Liberty’s interest in rival shopping channel HSN, will change its name to QVC Group.
"We are excited to introduce the QVC Group which focuses on our leadership position in video commerce, enables a cleaner comparable analysis and provides for more targeted share repurchase and equity incentives," said Liberty Interactive CEO Greg Maffei in a statement. "The Liberty Ventures Group is projected to have over $2.7 billion in cash by year end which we can invest in a wide set of opportunities in TMT, including digital commerce."
In addition Liberty Interactive, currently traded on the NASDAQ Exchange under the symbol "LINTA," has applied to NASDAQ to change its symbol to "QVCA." The company said the effective date of the symbol change will be announced separately.
Liberty Interactive first announced plans to spin off the digtal assets and QVC last October.
Those plans were put on temporary hold after the company sold the flower and gifting portion of Provide Commerce to floral giant FTD in exchange for a 35% interest in the combined company.