Time Warner, Liberty Working a Deal for TWC to Buy Remaining Stake in Court TV

May 3, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Time Warner Chairman and CEO Richard Parsons confirmed Wednesday that his company is working with John Malone’s Liberty Media to ink a deal that would give Time Warner full control of cable network Court TV.

“We are in discussions with Liberty regarding purchasing their interest in Court TV for cash, and we are hopeful we will have something to announce in the very near future,” Mr. Parsons said during a conference call to discuss Time Warner’s first-quarter results.

Some analysts have pegged Court TV’s value at around $1.6 billion, which would indicate Time Warner might pay around $800 million to buy the 50 percent of Court TV it doesn’t already own. Such a deal has been widely anticipated because the terms of the joint venture allow one company to buy out the other beginning this year.

Mr. Parsons also confirmed that Liberty and Time Warner were in discussions about a transaction in which Liberty would give up its 4 percent stake in the media giant in exchange for certain noncore assets. Though he did not discuss which assets might be involved in such a deal, Wall Street has speculated a deal could include Time Warner’s ownership of the Atlanta Braves professional baseball team.

“We are hopeful that we will be able to reach a mutually acceptable arrangement, but as is usual in these types of negotiations, we can’t be sure that these discussions will be successful,” Mr. Parsons said.

But Mr. Parsons said Time Warner’s goal of reaching the $15 billion mark in a stock repurchase program would likely factor in the Liberty stake, a sign of his confidence that Time Warner and Liberty can reach an accord on the Liberty stake.