Liberty Interactive to issue QVC shares [The Philadelphia Inquirer]
(Philadelphia Inquirer (PA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Oct. 10--The success of West Chester-based QVC Inc. led its parent company, Liberty Interactive Corp., to announce Thursday that it will give the e-commerce retailer and cable shopping business its own "tracking stock."
Englewood, Colo.-based Liberty Interactive said it was making the change "intended to provide greater clarity regarding QVC's strong operating metrics, such as its leadership in mobile commerce and pioneering efforts in establishing social shopping platforms for its customers."
A tracking stock is issued by a parent company to follow the performance of a specific division.
Liberty Interactive operates and owns interests in a broad range of digital commerce businesses now represented by two stocks: Liberty Interactive Group and Liberty Ventures Group.
The new QVC Group stock (ticker: QVCA and QVCB) would be created out of the Liberty Interactive Group stock and track the value of QVC and Liberty's 38 percent interest in home shopping channel HSN Inc.
Liberty's other e-commerce companies, including the digital invitation site Evite, would be part of a new Liberty Digital Commerce stock.
"It's a good move because sometimes the complexity of the Liberty stocks causes them to trade at a discount to their true value," said Tom Forte, Internet analyst with Telsey Advisory Group in New York.
Liberty Interactive also announced it would spin off its stake in travel website TripAdvisor Inc. and online retailer BuySeasons into a new publicly-traded company called Liberty TripAdvisor Holdings.
QVC was founded in 1986 and ranks among the top online merchandise retailers, with $8.5 billion in revenues in 2012. QVC was named by founder Joseph Segel for three guiding principles: Quality, Value and Convenience.
QVC is available in 250 million homes worldwide through its broadcast programming in the United States, the U.K., Germany, Japan, Italy and a joint venture in China, according to the company website.
QVC shipped more than 166 million products, including beauty, electronics, home goods, apparel, accessories and jewelry in 2012. The company said it employs 2,700 in West Chester, 9,300 in the United States, and 17,000 worldwide.
QVC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Liberty Interactive, provides the majority of annual revenue for Liberty Interactive, which took full ownership in 2003 after purchasing the portion of QVC then owned by Comcast.
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