Revenue: $2.06 billion
Loss: $6.20 billion
At the height of the media sector boom, Wall Street couldn’t get enough of Liberty Media topper John Malone’s complex and aggressive dealmaking.
But when the market started to slump and fears of dodgy accounting loomed over all industries, investors grew increasingly skittish at the media baron’s labyrinth of interlocking investments.
Liberty’s stock price has eroded along with investors’ faith. After trading as high as $30 two years ago, shares recently fell to a low of near $6.
But there’s no denying that Liberty’s portfolio is impressive. It holds stakes in dozens of companies ranging from Discovery Communications, QVC, pay TV movie outlet Starz! and E! Entertainment Network.
In addition, Liberty is already a major player in Europe’s cable TV market. It controls United Pan-Europe Communications, the largest cable system on the continent with more than 7 million subscribers.
Malone sought earlier this year to gain more Euro ground by entering negotiations to purchase more cable assets from troubled operators like NTL in Britain and Deutsche Telekom, and the now-bankrupt Kirch Group in Germany, which yielded few results.
But Malone is undeterred: He recently reiterated his interest in acquiring distressed cable properties across the pond — and put his money where his mouth is by spending $731 million for Holland’s third-largest operator, Casema.