Murdoch, Malone Settle: Liberty, News Corp. Swap Stocks
The two companies announced Friday that they had entered into a definitive agreement in which News Corporation will exchange Liberty's 16.3% stake in News Corp. for News Corp.'s 38.5% stake in DirecTV Group, as well as regional sports networks in Denver, Pittsburgh, and Seattle, and cash.
It is expected that Chase Carey will continue to serve as DirecTV's president and CEO. Liberty will appoint directors to fill the board seats currently held by News representatives.
The transaction--which was unanimously approved by the boards of News Corp. and Liberty--is expected to close in mid-2007; it is subject to regulatory and News Corp. shareholder approvals and the receipt of a private letter ruling from the Internal Revenue Service.
Negotiations between News Corp. chairman and CEO Murdoch and Liberty chairman Malone have been ongoing since the latter began acquiring stakes in the former in 2004.