C&W deal exposes John Malone’s paper-thin trackers

November 20, 2015

The Latam and Caribbean cable operator’s $8 bln sale to the media mogul’s Liberty Global presents shareholders with three forms of payment. The C&W board is recommending the one without a tracking stock. That partly undercuts the reason for creating such shadow shares.

John Malone triples down on complexity

November 12, 2015

The U.S. cable TV mogul plans to turn the $13 bln Liberty Media’s shares into three tracking stocks, each with three classes. Malone is an old hand at using shadow stocks to reshape his empire, tax-free. But investors may find the legerdemain more confusing than clarifying.

If Vodafone wants Liberty it has to get creative

December 1, 2014

The mobile giant is eyeing cable group Liberty Global for a $90 bln-plus takeover. The strategic case is easier to make than the financial one. Regulators may be persuadable. Investors and Liberty Chairman John Malone could be colder. Vodafone has to be resourceful.

Free spirit (and marketing power) of Lollapalooza doesn’t come cheap

By Rob Cox
October 7, 2014

In an era when everything is shared or rented, including music, there’s a premium to be paid for actual experience – like, say, a festival. That partly explains the media mogul’s interest in Live Nation, which is stalking the promoter behind Lollapalooza and other big gigs.

Sirius XM could yet reclaim the soul it sold

April 30, 2012

When staring down bankruptcy in 2009, the U.S. satellite radio service pledged a 40 pct stake and say-so on big decisions to wily negotiator John Malone. He gave Sirius life and is now coming to collect. But there may be another deal to be done to skirt creeping control.

Liberty pushes envelope for post-crisis M&A debt

February 6, 2013

The U.S. media group is funding the cash element of its $23 bln Virgin offer by gearing up its target. Almost $8 bln of new debt will be issued with the deal. Overall leverage may still be below pre-crisis multiples. But it’s a big moment - and could beget more levered M&A.

Malone swoop frees Barclays but traps Ziggo

March 28, 2013

Liberty Global has a paper profit of over 40 mln euros after buying 13 pct of Dutch cable company Ziggo from Barclays. It’s typically shrewd of Liberty owner John Malone - Barclays was desperate following a botched share sale. But Ziggo shareholders should have mixed feelings.

Ziggo has ways to put pressure on Liberty

December 12, 2013

The Dutch cable firm is in bid talks with Liberty Global, already a big shareholder. Liberty is prudent and patient, and could seek creeping control via a low offer. But synergies would suffer. And there is value in moving quickly: brilliant debt markets won’t last forever.

John Malone deploys same old tricks against Sirius

January 6, 2014

Liberty Media is offering $10 bln-plus to squeeze out the satellite radio company’s minority investors. They’d get a derisory 3 pct premium and perhaps better liquidity in return for non-voting Liberty stock with inferior prospects. Sirius shareholders should hit back.