John Malone is splitting his Liberty Media empire (again)
ENGLEWOOD, CO: John Malone just can’t keep it together.
In his latest plan for his vast and ever-shifting media assets, Malone said he would effectively split his Liberty Media conglomerate again through the creation of three new tracking stocks.
One would be the Liberty Braves Group, reflecting the Atlanta Braves baseball team and a stadium still under construction, and another designated Liberty Sirius Group, focused on a stake in satellite radio player SiriusXM.
The third tracking stock, Liberty Media Group, would hold remaining interests in concert promoter Live Nation and smaller stakes in Time Warner and Viacom, among others.
Malone has a penchant for spinoffs, tracking stocks and other tax-averse financial maneuvers that have worked to the benefit of his investors over the years.
The media mogul used tracking stocks in 2012 to separate the home shopping services assets of Liberty Interactive Corp. from its digital media assets.
Shares were up 2.2 percent $41.94 on Thursday morning on the news.
“We expect this recapitalization to highlight each tracking stock group’s operations, and the financial performance of its attributed assets, provide greater investor choice, and enable targeted capital raising while maintaining an optimal capital structure for Liberty,” said Greg Maffei, Liberty’s president and CEO, said in a statement.
A tracking stock is pegged to the financial performance of a specific business unit or operating division of a company rather than the company as a whole.
Liberty said it expects to complete the new tracking stocks in the first half of 2016.