Back in the day when John Malone was heading up TCI and I was selling a small cable network to cable operators, I was taken with the style and substance of the man. I heard him at cable conferences, read about him, and watched as he successfully sold TCI and started Liberty Media. Since then, he has continued to do what few others are able to do; unlock the value of his company by purchasing into companies and spinning them out into separate businesses. He continues to do it today as his plan is to spin off his ownership of Starz into a separately traded company.
"Liberty Media, based in Englewood, Colorado, has used tracking stocks and financial transactions over the years to pursue tax benefits and make its diversified assets more attractive to shareholders. They included the separation of Liberty Interactive (LINTA), owner of the shopping network QVC." He has also done it with Discovery Networks and his next plan involves Sirius Satellite. As Liberty moves to become the majority owner, he is ready to take those shares and spin them out as well.
For now, it seems to be the ongoing strategy of Liberty Media to be the holding company through investments in other brands. He takes them, grows them, grows his ownership in them, and then like children, kicks them out of the nest into separate companies, all with Malone ownership behind them. Good news for investors that like to watch their stock holdings expand through spin offs.