June 21, 2010, 3:58 PM

QVC parent simplifies its structure

Liberty Media will spin off two divisions, leaving QVC's parent as the core asset.

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Liberty Media Corp. said yesterday it plans to spin off its Liberty Capital and Liberty Starz units, leaving the Liberty Interactive unit as the core of Liberty Media. Liberty Interactive includes TV shopping network and web retailer QVC.com and e-retailers BackCountry.com, BodyBuilding.com, Red and ProFlowers.com, as well as travel booking site Expedia.com.

The move aims to make Liberty Interactive more attractive to potential investors, by making its corporate structure less complex.

The new structure will be more transparent, says Greg Maffei, president and CEO of Liberty Media, No. 11 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. He adds it will “enable more efficient capital-raising and permit us to better pursue our strategic objectives, including acquisitions using stock. We also believe the split-off will be positive for the long-term credit outlook at Liberty Interactive.”

The proposed split will involve the redemption of outstanding shares of Liberty Capital and Liberty Starz stock in exchange for shares in a newly formed public company called Newco. Liberty Capital includes the Atlanta Braves major league baseball team and investments in Time Warner Inc. and Sprint Nextel Corp., while Liberty Starz provides cable television programming.

The split-off is expected to close late this year or early in 2011, Liberty says, pending regulatory approvals.

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