Liberty Global Media, Austar Ponders Foxtel

Submitted by Share Trading on 22 March, 2010 - 07:46

Liberty Global, a US media cable giant which controls regional pay-TV company Austar (AUN), has said that is it interested in acquiring a stake in rival Australian cable TV operator Foxtel.

However, such a deal would be difficult to execute as Foxtel has a complex ownership structure with Telstra (TLS) owning 50 percent, NewsCorp (NWS) owning 25 percent and Jamie Packer's Consolidated Media Holding (CMJ) owning the remaining 25 percent. Liberty Media chief executive Mike Fries has said that it planned to be a long term shareholder of Austar and also confirmed that Austar and Foxtel had merger talks two to three years ago but he would rather not sell the Austar stake to Foxtel - but he would consider the offer if it was on the table.

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