Feb 19 Liberty Global PLC Chairman
John Malone has given two executives a chance to buy his voting
stakes in Liberty and Discovery Communications Inc in
the event he decides to sell his shares, according to regulatory
filings on Tuesday.
Malone is giving Liberty Global CEO Michael Fries first
right of refusal and the right of last offer to purchase
Malone's 27.5 percent voting stake in the international cable
operator worth about $772 million.
Malone set up a similar structure for Discovery
Communications CEO David Zaslav. Liberty Global holds a 29.5
percent stake with voting rights in Discovery Communications
worth about $525 million. Discovery owns a group of cable
networks including TLC and Animal Planet.
Malone said he had no plans at present to transfer his
voting shares and would stay actively involved in both Liberty
Global and Discovery Communications.
"In the event I do in the future decide to pursue the sale
of my voting position, I am excited about providing these two
strong executives, who have both created significant shareholder
value, with a path toward acquiring that stake and preserving
the long-term stability and continuity of the companies they
have built and will continue leading into the future," he said
in a statement.
Malone is a constant deal maker and most recently made a run
at Time Warner Cable through the much smaller rival
Charter Communications, which Malone controls. Comcast
Corp announced last week it agreed to buy Time Warner
Cable for $45.2 billion.
Liberty Global and Discovery Communications have reportedly
made an approach to buy a stake in auto racing company Formula