Malone’s Liberty Interactive Discussed Exiting Expedia

Greg Maffei, chief executive officer of billionaire John Malone’s Liberty Media Corp., said the company has discussed exiting its stake in Expedia Inc., the online travel service.

Maffei, speaking today at an FBR & Co. conference in New York, also said Liberty Broadband, a Malone-controlled company that’s filed to go public, could be merged with Charter Communications Inc., the cable, phone and Internet company.

Liberty has considered a number of ways to exit Expedia, including a distribution to shareholders or an asset swap, he said. In 2007, the company exchanged Time Warner Inc. shares for the Atlanta Braves baseball team, he noted. While Liberty has also considered buying all of Expedia, the company’s chairman, Barry Diller, indicated “that’s not what he wanted,” Maffei said.

Liberty Interactive, which offers TV and online shopping services, holds a 56 percent voting stake and 18 percent economic interest in Expedia, according to filings. Diller generally has the right to vote the shares, according to company filings.

The stake in Expedia had a market value of $1.82 billion in Liberty’s last quarterly report and was carried on its books at $476 million.

Liberty Broadband, which filed for a public offering in July, holds interests in Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications. Malone created the stock to help fund further investments by Charter in the cable industry.

Expedia, based in Bellevue, Washington, fell 1.8 percent to $83.83 at the close in New York. Liberty Interactive retreated 1.9 percent to $28.87, while Charter declined 1.9 percent to $151.35.

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