Liberty Sets May Date for Spin-Off Vote

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Liberty Media Corp. has set May 23 as the date for a special shareholder vote regarding the planned spin-off of its Liberty Starz and Liberty Capital tracking stocks, according to a proxy statement filed Monday.
Liberty first proposed spinning off Liberty Capital (which includes several passive investments in media companies and a controlling interest in the Atlanta Braves Major League Baseball team) and Liberty Starz, which includes the Starz LLC premium channels, in 2010. While Liberty Capital and Liberty Starz will remain tracking stocks after the deal is complete, Liberty Interactive, which includes QVC Inc., Provide Commerce, Backcountry.com, Buyseasons, Bodybuilding.com, and interests in IAC/InterActiveCorp and Expedia, would become an asset-backed stock.
The moves are part of an ongoing effort to simplify Liberty's structure. The media giant had first proposed the special shareholders meeting on March 31 and later postponed it to April. That meeting was again postponed mainly because of uncertainties concerning litigation with one of its banks - Bank of New York Mellon Trust Co.- that had tried to block the split. A trial was held in Chancery Court in Delaware during the week of Feb. 21 and Liberty is currently awaiting a decision, according to the proxy statement.
Liberty plans to redeem all shares of Liberty Capital and Liberty Starz and them exchange those shares for new stock in a new entity tentatively titled "Splitco." That redemption requires the approval of the majority of the voting power of both Liberty Starz and Liberty Capital. After the exchange is completed, Liberty Capital and Starz will remain tracking stocks.

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