Liberty Media has revealed it plans to spin off US cable broadcaster Starz as a separate company.
Starz will become a separate Liberty-owned company if the plan goes ahead, according to Liberty’s CEO and president Greg Maffei.
Nasdaq-listed Liberty aims to create a pair of subsidiaries, Liberty Media Corporation and Starz, the latter comprising all of Starz’s current assets. The new Starz would hold about US$1.5bn in debt and an “undetermined amount of cash,” said Liberty. Liberty Media Corp would house the rest of the firm’s assets.
This would “provide better transparency” and optimise Starz’s capital structure. It would also allow Liberty to “better pursue our strategic objectives, including creating two currencies that could be used for acquisitions” and “create significant liquidity for Liberty, Maffei added.
The spin-off is expected to be completed late this year and does not require a shareholder vote. It does, however, need anti-trust approval.
“The senior Starz team and I are very energised by the decision to make Starz its own independent company. This standalone structure is the first step to unlocking the real potential growth opportunities for our businesses,” said Starz CEO Chris Albrecht.
Starz today revealed it had reached 20.7 million US subscribers by the end of the second quarter ended June 30, 2012, up 600,000 on Q1. Sister cablenet Encore had 34.2 million, also up 600,000 on the previous quarter.