Liberty Media eyes News Corp's National Geographic

MUMBAI: Liberty Media Corp. may seek to buy the National Geographic Channel and may close in on a deal to sell a voting stake back to News Corp., according to Liberty chairman John Malone.

The possible transaction would see Liberty hand back some or all of its 18 per cent stake in News Corp.


Malone said the two companies "have the basis of a discussion" and "a couple of theories that we are moving forward on" that could allow for a win-win resolution of the matter during the coming months according to agency reports.

He added that the relationship between the two firms is "in good condition," but said that tax matters and necessary approvals by third parties having interests in assets could change hands among the complications of the scenarios being discussed.

News Corp. owns about 67% of the National Geographic Channel's U.S. operations and 50% of the international subsidiary, according to its 2004 annual report.


A deal to buy the channel would require the approval of the National Geographic Society, a nonprofit group. The society's for-profit arm National Geographic Ventures holds a minority stake in the cable network.


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