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Malone Steps Down From DirecTV Board

Satellite TV provider DirecTV said April 6 that Liberty Media Chairman John Malone is resigning from its board. According to a statement, Malone is also reducing his 24.3% voting interest in the company to a 3% stake and is exchanging 21.8 million Class B shares, for 26 million Class A shares. The move effectively eliminates the Class B shares.

The change is expected to satisfy an FCC condition relative to Liberty Media's acquisition of a stake in DirecTV in February 2008. The FCC order came as a result of the overlapping interests of both Liberty and DirecTV in Puerto Rico.

With the move, Liberty will resume running its operation in Puerto Rico.

DirecTV, the nation's second-largest distributor behind Comcast Corp. also indicated that Liberty Global president and CEO Greg Maffei and Paul, a member of Liberty Global's board, will resign from DirecTV's board at the closing of the transaction

During the fourth quarter of 2009, DirecTV reported revenue growth of 13% and operating profit before depreciation and amortization rose 22% to $1.49 billion. Net new subscriber additions however, continued to slow, totaling 119,000 in the period. DirecTV had warned that subscriber growth could continue to slow down - the satellite giant added 136,000 new customers in the third quarter, compared to 460,000 additions in the first quarter.

Last November, DirecTV named PepsiCo International CEO Michael White as a successor to Chase Carey. The appointment fueled rumors that DirecTV was for sale, speculation that was fanned by the completion of the spinoff of Liberty Entertainment, which contributed Liberty Media's 57% interest in DirecTV to an entity that was merged with the satellite giant, and created a new stock of the remaining assets, called Liberty Starz. With Liberty's interest fully consolidated into DirecTV, some analysts have speculated that a deal to sell the company would be easier.
However, Malone, at the time, looked to quash such talk during an interview on CNBC.

which Malone tried to quiet.

Read more at B&C here.