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Liberty may shoot for Sky

Exex contemplate swap of media holdings for IPO pieces

The chief financial officer of John Malone’s Liberty Media confirmed that the media-investments unit may contribute some assets to Sky Global Networks, a fledgling group of mostly satellite TV businesses for which Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. plans an initial public offering.

Speaking at an investors’ conference in San Francisco, Liberty CFO Gary Howard said Liberty execs will make an “unemotional” decision about whether to contribute some of its media holdings in return for a piece of the Sky Global IPO.

“We’ll wait and see what the final structure is and what final proposal is put forth,” Howard said in remarks at the Banc of America Securities confab. “As with any of our assets, we are always interested in talking about how to bring them into a more liquid, broader security, and Sky Global could be a very attractive one.”

Worldwide assets

Murdoch’s plan for Sky Global would see News Corp. contribute holdings in pay TV services such as BSkyB in Britain, Stream in Italy and Star TV in Asia. To further bolster the venture, News Corp. is asking its partners in the various ventures to contribute their stakes, too.

Among Liberty holdings eyed for the assets cocktail is a 20% chunk of television listings giant TV Guide.

“Generally speaking, we have a store of assets, and everything is for sale every day in the store,” Liberty’s Howard said. “We are unemotional to it because we are trying to make money. The issues really come down to what proposition anybody would have.”

(Bloomberg News contributed to this report.)

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