Liberty Media To Swap News Corp. Shares For DirecTV Control, Three Regional Sports Nets, Cash


At least one long-running financial saga has been resolved before this year ends … in an $11 billion deal rumored for weeks and officially announced this morning, John Malone’s Liberty Media will swap its 16.3 percent of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. for the media company’s 38.4 percent of DirecTV, three regional sports nets (FSN Northwest, FSN Pittsburgh and FSN Rocky Mountain) and $550 million in cash (could be adjusted). It’s all subject to the usual regulatory approvals and a vote by the non-Murdoch, Liberty shareholders; in fact, for all the talk you’ll hear about DirecTV changing hands, the companies don’t expect the deal to close until the second half of 2007.
Murdoch fought hard to gain control of DirecTV but, in the end, cared less about the U.S. satellite business than removing Malone as a major News Corp. shareholder.

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