Liberty Media completes Atlanta Braves purchase

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Cable operator Liberty Media Corp. LCAPA.OLINTA.O and media conglomerate Time Warner Inc. TWX.N on Thursday said Liberty completed a roughly $1.5 billion deal to acquire the Atlanta Braves baseball team from Time Warner.

The complex deal calls for Liberty to pay about 68.5 million shares of Time Warner common stock it has held, subject to a working capital adjustment, for a newly created unit of Time Warner, which holds the Atlanta Braves, Time Inc.’s Leisure Arts Inc. and $960 million of cash.

Based on Wednesday’s closing price of $21.60, the deal was worth around $1.48 billion in stock. Major League Baseball has approved the transaction. The assets held by the acquired unit will be attributed to Liberty Media’s Liberty Capital Group.

Time Warner’s acquisition of its stock from Liberty essentially completes Time Warner’s previously announced $20 billion stock repurchase program, the company statement said.

Liberty has retained about 103 million shares, or about 2.8 percent of Time Warner common stock.