Liberty Interactive to split QVC and e-commerce businesses
John Malone, chairman of Liberty Media and Liberty Interactive: he is known as the “King of Cable” for buying and selling cable and media companies for Liberty Interactive for decades. Photograph: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Liberty Interactive says it is to split into two tracking stocks, one for its cable shopping business QVC and the other for its e-commerce holdings, including digital invitation site Evite.
Liberty Interactive also said it would spin off its stake in travel website TripAdvisor and online retailer BuySeasons into a new company known as Liberty TripAdvisor Holdings.
Shares of Liberty Interactive jumped 7 per cent to $24.44. The company hosted an investor day in New York yesterday.
QVC Group will include the cable shopping channel QVC and Liberty’s 38 per cent interest in another shopping channel, HSN.
“We view the deal as positive for Liberty Interactive,” wrote Stifel analyst Benjamin Mogil in a note.
“The company is capitalising on multiples for e-commerce companies . . . and will allow Liberty Digital Commerce to likely accelerate its M&A by offering targets a more pure-play currency.”
Separately, Liberty Media said Sirius XM Radio, in which it is a majority owner, will buy back $500 million of its common stock from Liberty. The buyback is part of Sirius’s plan to increase share repurchases by an additional $2 billion.
Liberty Media will continue to own more than 52 per cent of Sirius’s outstanding shares after the repurchase. Shares of Sirius rose 3 per cent to $3.94 in morning trade yesterday .
Meanwhile, Liberty Media, Mr Malone’s holding company, purchased a 5.2 per cent stake of its own stock from Comcast as part of a reshuffling of his assets. – (Reuters)