Liberty is taken with HSN stock

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Liberty Media Corp. has agreed to buy almost 16.3 million shares of Home Shopping Network stock under its expired tender offer, boosting its stake to 41.5%, Liberty said Friday.

The purchase extends Liberty’s influence over the shop-by-TV business. It also owns a 23% stake in Home Shopping’s biggest rival, QVC Networks.

Liberty had planned to buy 15 million shares of HSN stock but said it would buy up to 1.3 million additional shares if more were tendered.

Liberty’s $ 7 a share offer expired at midnight Thursday and the company said almost 23.3 million shares were tendered.

As a result, Liberty officials said they would purchase 70% of the stock tendered by each stockholder. The remaining 30% would be returned to the stockholders, a spokeswoman said.

Checks for payment will be mailed shortly after June 1, the company said in its news release.

Liberty already owns 20 million shares of HSN’s Class B common stock and 616, 300 shares of its common stock, for ownership of about 23% of HSN’s outstanding common equity.

The stock being purchased would raise Liberty’s ownership of HSN common equity to about 41.5% of its outstanding shares and would increase Liberty’s voting power to about 71%, the company said.

The purchase follows a decision by a Delaware judge to deny injunctions sought to block the sale by HSN stockholders who said Liberty was paying too little.

It’s a scaled-down version of an offer made earlier this year to buy all outstanding HSN shares through a $ 640 million cash stock offer, withdrawn because of HSN’s mounting legal problems.

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