Liberty Media Says Financial Firm Appeals Split-Off Ruling

6:55 AM PST 06/07/2011 by Georg Szalai

The company still hopes to split off Liberty Capital and Liberty Starz before Sept. 23 and is requesting an expedited appeals process.

NEW YORK - John Malone's Liberty Media is facing a delay of its planned split-offs of its Liberty Capital and Liberty Starz tracking stocks.

The company said Tuesday that The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company has appealed a Delaware Court of Chancery's ruling on the proposed split-off. Wednesday marked the final possible day for an appeal.  

The Delaware court recently sided with Liberty after the bank raised issues about the split-off, arguing that it would constitute a disposition of all or substantially all the assets of Liberty.

As management has repeatedly said the company would do if needed, Liberty on Tuesday said it is requesting expedition of the appeal.

It added that it hopes to complete the split-off prior to Sept. 23, the last trading day on which Liberty can complete the move under the terms of its charter without having to seek another shareholder vote.

Liberty management has signaled it expects the split-off to occur around mid-year. CEO Greg Maffei recently said that after an appeal, it would likely take another 30-60 days for a final ruling.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai

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