Liberty Media Corporation (“Liberty Media”) (Nasdaq: LMCA, LMCB) today reported second quarter 2012 results. Highlights include (1):
- Increased STARZ and ENCORE subscriptions by 9% and 4%, respectively
- Concluded debut season of Magic City, the STARZ Original series, with strong viewership throughout the season
- Today announced intention to separate Liberty Media and Starz, LLC
- Physically settled forward purchase contracts on SiriusXM and Live Nation, increasing our ownership to 46% (on an as-converted basis) and 26%, respectively
- Repurchased $96 million of Liberty Media stock from May 1, 2012 through July 31, 2012
“We are pleased to announce our plan to separate the assets of Liberty Media and Starz, LLC, creating two separate asset-backed stocks,” said Greg Maffei, President and CEO of Liberty. “This transaction will provide better transparency on the Starz operating business; optimize the Starz capital structure; permit us to better pursue our strategic objectives, including creating two currencies that could be used for acquisitions; and create significant liquidity at Liberty Media, which preserves all our options with respect to SiriusXM and Live Nation.
“Starz again posted impressive subscriber gains and we are excited for the upcoming premiere of season two of the STARZ Original series Boss next week ,” Maffei continued. “In July, we physically settled our forward purchases of SiriusXM and Live Nation, increasing our ownership positions.”
Liberty’s Board of Directors has authorized a plan to distribute to the stockholders of Liberty Media shares of a subsidiary that will hold all of the businesses, assets and liabilities of Liberty Media not associated with Starz, LLC. The transaction would be effected as a pro-rata dividend of shares of a newly created subsidiary to the stockholders of Liberty Media. The subsidiary, which would become a separate public company, would be called Liberty Media Corporation (“New Liberty”). The businesses, assets and liabilities not included in New Liberty would be part of a separate public company called Starz. Starz will consist of 100% of Starz, LLC, approximately $1.5 billion in debt (assuming full draw down of the Starz bank facility) and an undetermined amount of cash.