Shareholders Approve Liberty Entertainment Spin
Liberty Starz Should Begin Trading Friday
Mike Farrell --
The long-awaited spin-off of Liberty Entertainment was approved by shareholders in a 30-minute special meeting in New York Thursday, paving the way for a consolidation of its 57% interest in DirecTV Group and the separation of its Starz Entertainment business into its own stock.
Liberty Media, the parent of Liberty Entertainment, had proposed the spin-off earlier this year. Liberty Entertainment currently houses Liberty Media's 100% interest in Starz Entertainment, its 57% interest in DirecTV, three regional sports networks, a 65% interest in cable channel GSN and FUN Technologies, WildBlue Communications and online entities PicksPal and Fanball. After the deal is completed, expected at 5 p.m. Nov, 19, Liberty Entertainment will be split into two (temporary) units, both called Liberty Entertainment: one will include the DirecTV interest; its regional sports networks, FSN Pittsburgh, FSN Rocky Mountain, and FSN Northwest; GSN (formerly Game Show Network); $80 million in cash; and $2 billion in debt. That entity will later be merged with DirecTV, at which time it will assume the DirecTV name.
The remaining assets -- Starz, WildBlue, PicksPal, Fanball, FUN Technologies and about $650 million in cash -- will be renamed Liberty Starz.
Liberty Starz has been trading on a when-issued basis for the past few weeks, and prices have ranged from $47 to $49 per share. The stock is expected to begin regular trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbols "LSTZA" and "LSTZB" on Nov.