Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Tracking Stocks

Tracking Stocks
6 Months Ended
Jun. 30, 2017
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 Liberty QVC Group and the Ventures Group, respectively (as defined below).

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. As of June 30, 2017, 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 and zulily, llc (“zulily”), our approximate 38% interest in HSN, Inc. (“HSN”), and cash and cash equivalents of approximately $420 million, which includes subsidiary cash. The QVC Group also has attributed to it liabilities that reside with QVC and zulily, certain liabilities related to our corporate level indebtedness (see note 10) and certain deferred tax liabilities.

On July 6, 2017, Liberty announced that it had entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of July 5, 2017 (the “HSN Merger Agreement”), by and among Liberty, Liberty Horizon, Inc., a Delaware corporation and a direct, wholly-owned subsidiary of Liberty (“Merger Sub”), and HSN. Pursuant to the terms of the HSN Merger Agreement, Merger Sub will merge with and into HSN, with HSN surviving as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Liberty (the “HSN Merger”). As a result of the HSN Merger, Liberty will acquire the approximately 62% of HSN it does not already own in an all-stock transaction making HSN a wholly-owned subsidiary, attributed to the QVC Group tracking stock group. Liberty currently owns approximately 38% of HSN. HSN shareholders (other than Liberty) will receive fixed consideration of 1.65 shares of Series A QVC Group common stock for each share of HSN common stock. Based on the Series A QVC Group common stock’s closing price as of July 5, 2017 and the number of HSN undiluted shares outstanding as of May 1, 2017, this equates to a total enterprise value for HSN of $2.6 billion, an equity value of $2.1 billion, and consideration of $40.36 per HSN share, representing a premium of $9.06 per share or 29% to HSN shareholders, based on HSN’s closing price on July 5, 2017. Liberty intends to issue 53.4 million shares of Series A QVC Group common stock to HSN shareholders. Following the completion of the HSN Merger, Liberty expects to continue its repurchases of QVC Group common stock.

The HSN Merger is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2017.  The completion of the acquisition is subject to certain customary conditions, including (i) the receipt of requisite regulatory approvals, including approval from the Federal Communications Commission and the expiration or termination of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and (ii) approval by a majority of the outstanding voting power of HSN shareholders. A voting agreement has been obtained from Liberty to vote its HSN shares in-favor of the transaction.  Approval of the Liberty stockholders is not required, and is not being sought, for the HSN Merger.  Upon closing, Liberty’s board of directors will be expanded by one to include a director from HSN’s board of directors; this director will be selected by Liberty.

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. As of June 30, 2017, the Ventures Group is comprised primarily of our interests in Evite, Inc. (“Evite”), FTD Companies, Inc. (“FTD”), LendingTree, Inc. (“LendingTree”), Liberty Broadband, investments in Charter, ILG, Inc. (“ILG”), and Time Warner Inc. (“Time Warner”), and cash and cash equivalents of approximately $485 million. 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. 

On April 4, 2017, Liberty entered into an Agreement and Plan of Reorganization (the “GCI Reorganization Agreement” and the transactions contemplated thereby, the “Transactions”) with General Communication, Inc. (“GCI”), an Alaska corporation, and Liberty Interactive LLC, a Delaware limited liability company and a direct wholly-owned subsidiary of Liberty (“LI LLC”), whereby Liberty will acquire GCI through a reorganization in which certain Ventures Group assets and liabilities will be contributed to GCI in exchange for a controlling interest in GCI.  Liberty and LI LLC will contribute to GCI Liberty (as defined below) its entire equity interest in Liberty Broadband, Charter and LendingTree, together with the Evite operating business and certain other assets and liabilities (including, subject to certain conditions, Liberty’s equity interest in FTD), in exchange for (a) the issuance to LI LLC of (i) a number of shares of reclassified GCI Class A Common Stock and a number of shares of reclassified GCI Class B Common Stock equal to the number of outstanding shares of Series A Liberty Ventures common stock and Series B Liberty Ventures common stock outstanding on the closing date of the Contribution, respectively, (ii) certain exchangeable debentures and (iii) cash and (b) the assumption of certain liabilities by GCI Liberty (the “Contribution”).

Liberty will then effect a tax-free separation of its controlling interest in the combined company (to be named GCI Liberty, Inc. (“GCI Liberty”)) to the holders of Liberty Ventures common stock in full redemption of all outstanding shares of such stock, leaving QVC Group common stock as the only outstanding common stock of Liberty.  Holders of GCI Class A Common Stock and GCI Class B Common Stock each will receive (i) 0.63 of a share of reclassified GCI Class A Common Stock and (ii) 0.20 of a share of new GCI Series A preferred stock in exchange for each share of their existing GCI stock.   The exchange ratios were determined based on total consideration of $32.50 per share for existing GCI common stock, comprised of $27.50 per share in reclassified GCI Class A Common Stock and $5.00 per share in newly issued GCI Preferred Stock, and a Liberty Ventures reference price of $43.65 (with no additional premium paid for shares of GCI Class B Common Stock). The Series A preferred shares will accrue dividends at an initial rate of 5% per annum (which would increase to 7% in connection with a future reincorporation of GCI Liberty in Delaware) and will be redeemable upon the 21st anniversary of the closing.

At the closing of the Transactions, Liberty will reattribute certain assets and liabilities from the Ventures Group to the QVC Group (the “Reattribution”).  The reattributed assets and liabilities, if effected as of the date hereof, would include cash, Liberty’s interest in ILG, certain green energy investments, LI LLC’s exchangeable debentures (other than its outstanding 1.75% Exchangeable Debentures due 2046 that are exchanged for mirror debentures of GCI in an exchange offer to be conducted prior to the closing of the Transactions), and certain tax benefits. Liberty will complete the Reattribution using similar valuation methodologies to those used in connection with its previous reattributions, including taking into account the advice of its financial advisor. The Transactions are expected to be consummated during the fourth quarter of 2017, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including receipt of regulatory approval and the requisite stockholder approvals. Simultaneous with that closing, QVC Group, including wholly-owned subsidiaries QVC, Inc., zulily and HSN (or, if the HSN Merger has not yet closed, following such closing), will become an asset-backed stock and Liberty will be renamed QVC Group, Inc.  Neither the Transactions nor the HSN Merger is conditioned on the completion of the other, and no assurance can be given as to which of these transactions will be completed first.

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