Liberty Increases DirecTV Stake

Just weeks after closing its deal to acquire a 41% stake in DirecTV, Liberty Media is inching toward majority control of the satellite giant, stating Thursday that it has acquired an additional 78.3 million shares of DirecTV stock.

The shares were purchased in a private transaction and Liberty funded the deal by borrowing $1.98 billion against a newly executed equity collar on 110 million DirecTV shares. The equity collar is a series of puts and calls with maturities ranging up to 4.4 years, Liberty said in a statement. With the purchase Liberty’s stake in DirecTV rises to 48% of its outstanding shares.

“These transactions reaffirm our belief in DirecTV, the quality of its service and the performance of [DirecTV CEO] Chase Carey and his management team,” Liberty CEO Greg Maffei said in a statement. The additional shares and equity collar each increase our exposure to DirecTV’s equity and further align Liberty’s interests with those of DirecTV shareholders.”

Liberty closed on its $11 billion acquisition of News Corp.’s 41% interest in DirecTV in February.