Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Tracking Stocks

Tracking Stocks
3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2016
Tracking Stock [Abstract]  
Tracking Stocks

(2)   Tracking Stocks

A tracking stock is a type of common stock that the issuing company intends to reflect or "track" the economic performance of a particular business or "group," rather than the economic performance of the company as a whole. Liberty has two tracking stocks—QVC Group common stock and Liberty Ventures common stock, which are intended to track and reflect the economic performance of the QVC Group and the Ventures Group, respectively.

While the QVC Group and the Ventures Group have separate collections of businesses, assets and liabilities attributed to them, no group is a separate legal entity and therefore cannot own assets, issue securities or enter into legally binding agreements. Holders of tracking stock have no direct claim to the group's stock or assets and are not represented by separate boards of directors. Instead, holders of tracking stock are stockholders of the parent corporation, with a single board of directors and subject to all of the risks and liabilities of the parent corporation.

The term "QVC Group" does not represent a separate legal entity, rather it represents those businesses, assets and liabilities that have been attributed to that group. The QVC Group is primarily comprised of our merchandise-focused televised-shopping programs, Internet and mobile application businesses and has attributed to it our wholly-owned subsidiaries, QVC, Inc. (“QVC”) and zulily (defined below) (as of October 1, 2015), and our approximate 38% interest in HSN, Inc., along with cash and certain liabilities that reside with QVC and zulily as well as certain liabilities related to our corporate indebtedness (see note 10) and certain deferred tax liabilities. As of March 31, 2016, the QVC Group has cash and cash equivalents of approximately $440 million, which includes subsidiary cash.

The term "Ventures Group" does not represent a separate legal entity, rather it represents those businesses, assets and liabilities that have been attributed to that group. The Ventures Group is primarily comprised of our subsidiaries Bodybuilding.com, LLC ("Bodybuilding"), Commerce Technologies, Inc. (d/b/a “CommerceHub”), Evite, Inc. ("Evite") and Backcountry.com, Inc. (“Backcountry”) (see note 3 for discussion of a disposed business) (collectively, the “Digital Commerce” businesses) and interests in Expedia, Inc., FTD Companies, Inc. (“FTD”), Interval Leisure Group, Inc. and LendingTree, Inc., available-for-sale securities in Time Warner Inc. and Time Warner Cable Inc., as well as cash and cash equivalents of approximately $2,303 million at March 31, 2016. The Ventures Group also has attributed to it certain liabilities related to our Exchangeable Debentures (see note 10) and certain deferred tax liabilities. The Ventures Group is primarily focused on the maximization of the value of these investments and investing in new business opportunities. 

In May 2015, Liberty announced its entry into an agreement with Liberty Broadband Corporation ("Liberty Broadband"), a separate publicly traded company, whereby Liberty will invest up to $2.4 billion in Liberty Broadband in connection with (and contingent upon) the closing of the proposed merger of Charter Communications, Inc. ("Charter") and Time Warner Cable Inc. ("TWC"). The proceeds of this investment will be used by Liberty Broadband to fund, in part, its agreement to acquire $4.3 billion of Charter stock. Liberty Broadband's acquisition will be made in support of (and contingent upon) the closing of the Charter-TWC merger. In connection with these transactions, it is expected that Charter will undergo a corporate reorganization, resulting in New Charter, a current subsidiary of Charter, becoming the publicly traded parent company. Liberty's investment in Liberty Broadband will be funded using cash and short term investments and will be attributed to the Ventures Group.

Liberty, along with third party investors, all of whom will invest on the same terms as Liberty, have agreed to purchase newly issued shares of Liberty Broadband Series C common stock (the "Series C Shares") at a per share price of $56.23, which was determined based upon the fair value of Liberty Broadband's net assets on a sum-of-the parts basis at the time the investment agreements were executed. In the aggregate, Liberty Broadband has entered into investment agreements with respect to $4.4 billion of its Series C Shares. Liberty's investment in Liberty Broadband is subject to customary closing conditions and funding will only occur upon the completion of the Charter-TWC merger. Liberty Broadband has received stockholder approval for the issuance of the Series C Shares in accordance with the rules and requirements of the Nasdaq Stock Market. Further, Liberty Broadband has the right, and may determine, to incur debt financing (subject to certain conditions) to fund a portion of the purchase price for its investment in New Charter, in which case Liberty Broadband may reduce the aggregate subscription for Series C Shares by up to 25%, with such reduction applied pro rata to all investors, including Liberty.

Liberty and Liberty Broadband have also entered into an agreement with Charter which provides that Liberty and Liberty Broadband will exchange, in a tax-free transaction, the shares of TWC common stock held by each company for shares of New Charter Class A common stock (subject to certain limitations). In addition, Liberty has also agreed to grant Liberty Broadband a proxy over the shares of New Charter stock it receives in the exchange, along with a right of first refusal with respect to the underlying New Charter stock.

As the outcome of the transaction with Liberty Broadband and the Charter-TWC merger are uncertain due to pending regulatory approvals, Liberty has not reflected any financial impacts in the condensed consolidated financial statements related to the respective agreements as of March 31, 2016.

On October 1, 2015, Liberty acquired all of the outstanding shares of zulily, inc. (“zulily”) (now known as zulily, llc) for consideration of approximately $2.3 billion, comprised of $9.375 of cash and 0.3098 newly issued shares of Series A QVC Group common stock for each zulily share, with cash paid in lieu of any fractional shares.  Funding for the $1.2 billion cash portion of the consideration came from cash on hand at zulily and a distribution from QVC funded by a drawdown under its revolving credit facility (see note 10).  zulily is an online retailer offering customers a fun and entertaining shopping experience with a fresh selection of new product styles launched each day.  zulily is attributed to the QVC Group and we believe that its business is complementary to QVC’s. Subsequent to December 31, 2015, the preliminary purchase price allocation was adjusted, resulting in decreases of $50 million to trademarks, $40 million to intangible assets subject to amortization and $33 million to deferred tax liabilities and a corresponding increase of $57 million to goodwill. If these adjustments had been recorded as of the acquisition date, amortization expense would have been approximately $3 million lower for the period ended December 31, 2015. There have been no other significant changes to our purchase price allocation since December 31, 2015. The initial purchase price allocation is subject to change upon receipt of the final valuation analysis for zulily. The primary balances still subject to analysis are certain intangible assets, liabilities and tax balances.  

On November 12, 2015, Liberty announced that its board of directors authorized management to pursue a plan to spin-off to holders of its Liberty Ventures common stock shares of newly formed companies to be called CommerceHub, Inc. and Liberty Expedia Holdings, Inc. (“Expedia Holdings”).  CommerceHub, Inc. is expected to be comprised of Liberty’s Commerce Technologies, Inc. (d/b/a CommerceHub) business.  Expedia Holdings is expected to be comprised of, among other things, Liberty’s entire interest in Expedia, Inc., Liberty’s subsidiary Bodybuilding and $350 million of debt. The applicable record dates, distribution dates and distribution ratios for the spin-offs will be announced at a later date. Each of the spin-offs is intended to be tax-free to stockholders of Liberty Ventures and will be subject to various conditions including the receipt of an opinion of tax counsel.  Subject to the satisfaction of the applicable conditions, the completion of each of the spin-offs is expected to occur in the second quarter of 2016.

See Exhibit 99.1 to this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for unaudited attributed financial information for Liberty's tracking stock groups.