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Deal tunes Comcast into full ownership of E!

Tue, 07/20/2004 - 8:00pm
Karen Brown

Comcast Corp. continued to build on its entertainment momentum today, announcing it has sewn up a deal to gain sole ownership of E! Entertainment Television in a stock swap deal with Liberty Media Corp. in a deal estimated to be worth $1 billion.

Under the deal, Liberty will buy back 120.3 million shares of its Series A common stock from Comcast, and in exchange the Philadelphia-based MSO will acquire 100 percent of the stock in Liberty subsidiary Encore ICCP, Inc. Encore ICCP holds Liberty's 10 percent ownership interest in E!, 100 percent ownership in the International Channel Networks, benefits and obligations under an existing TCI Music contribution agreement and approximately $545 million in cash.

The deal also resolves an existing legal tangle between Comcast and Liberty over the TCI Music contribution agreement, which Comcast inherited when it acquired AT&T Broadband in 2002. It is dependent on closing conditions and regulatory approval.

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