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Liberty Media To Split Off Majority Of Liberty Entertainment; Assets Include DirecTV, Sports Nets

imageIn typical Liberty Media (NSDQ: LINTA) fashion, the company founded by John Malone has just filed a complicated business plan with the SEC on a Friday night. It’s also a relatively rare move — a split-off that will give holders of the Liberty Entertainment group tracking stock shares in a new subsidiary that will hold the majority of the group’s businesses, assets and liabilities in exchange for some of their tracking stock shares. The announcement follows CEO Greg Maffei’s assurance this week at the UBS Global Media and Communications conference that the company is looking for a structure that benefits shareholders better than the current tracking stocks. If it gets the usual regulatory and IRS approval — as is generally the case with Liberty, the goal is a tax-free transaction — holders of the tracking stock will have stock in two investments. Release. The details:

— The new Liberty Entertainment will be a publicly traded company — not a tracking stock — called Liberty Entertainment, Inc. That company would include roughly 52 percent of The DirecTV Group (NYSE: DTV), Inc., 50 percent of GSN, LLC, 100 percent of FUN Technologies and 100 percent of Liberty Sports Holdings, LLC (three regional sports nets.) It also will be responsible for $2 billion in debt incurred when Liberty acquired its majority interest in DirecTV last spring.

— The tracking stock LMDI will keep all of Starz Entertainment, 37 percent of Wild Blue Communications, Inc., and a to-be-determined amount of cash.