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Liberty Media splits its assets

Move could boost company's buying power

John Malone’s Liberty Media Corp. is separating its interactive and entertainment assets in a move that could bolster its buying power.

Liberty has three tracking stocks; Liberty Capital, Liberty Starz and Liberty Interactive. Under the blueprint, approved over the weekend by Liberty’s board, Capital and Starz will become new entities.

Interactive, which includes home-shopping network QVC, will become the company’s asset-backed entity. Division also includes investments in a number of online enterprises, such as Expedia and IAC/InterActiveCorp.

In a statement, Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei said separating Interactive will give the conglom more leverage in making acquisitions using stock. Interactive could be renamed Newco.

“An asset-backed Liberty Interactive will provide better transparency on Liberty’s operating businesses, enable more efficient capital raising and permit us to better pursue our strategic objectives,” Maffei said.

Shareholders of Capital and Starz will exchange their shares for tracking stock in the new company.

Starz includes Starz Entertainment, which houses the cable properties, as well as the unit that contains Overture Films and Anchor Bay Films. Malone has expressed interest in selling off Overture and Anchor Bay Films, with several suitors circling.

Besides the Atlanta Braves, Capital has investments in Sirius XM Radio, Time Warner, Time Warner Cable and Live Nation.

Shares of Liberty Capital were up 5.19% to close at $43.95.

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