Liberty Global, the international cable giant chaired by cable legend John Malone, has completed the sale of its stake in Australian satellite TV unit, Austar, to Foxtel for about $1.1 billion.
Liberty first announced the deal in May 2011. Foxtel, jointly owned by Australian telecom giant Telstra, News Corp. and Consolidated Media Holdings, agreed to pay $1.52 per share for Austar, or about $2.5 billion. Liberty received $1.1 billion in cash for its 688.5 million Austar shares, or about 54.2% of Austar's outstanding stock.
The transaction had to be approved by Australian regulators, who tacked on several conditions to the deal before signing off on the agreement in April.
Austar has about 750,000 subscribers to its satellite TV service in regional and rural Australia. The company also is a significant distributor of programming through its 50% joint venture XYZnetworks, which owns and/or distributes Nickelodeon, Nick Jr, Discovery Channel, Channel [V], [V]Hits, MAX, Arena, The Lifestyle Channel, Lifestyle Food, LifeStyle You, Country Music Channel and The Weather Channel.
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