UPDATE 1-Liberty Media sees Sirius stake spin in future
Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:22pm EST
NEW YORK, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Liberty Media Corp (LINTA.O) expects that it will spin out its 40 percent stake in satellite radio operator Sirius XM (SIRI.O) "at some stage", Liberty CEO Greg Maffei said on Thursday.
Liberty, the media conglomerate owned by media mogul John Malone, made an opportunistic acquisition of the stake in Sirius in February when the satellite company was on the verge of bankruptcy.
Maffei, who was speaking at the Media & Money conference in New York, said the Sirius investment had been one of the best bets the company had ever made.
Liberty Media paid $530 million in loans with a high 15 percent interest rate in exchange for preferred stock convertible into a 40 percent stake in the company. Today the stake is now worth more than $1 billion.
"It will be logical to spin out the stake at some stage," Maffei said.
Liberty Media has traditionally avoided transactions that could lead to it incurring taxes on top of a deal price. One option would be to spin-out the stake directly to shareholders of its Liberty Capital (LCAPA.O) tracking stock through which it made the Sirius investment.
(Reporting by Yinka Adegoke; Editing Bernard Orr)