Friday, February 27, 2009
QVC's parent company, Liberty Media, wants to make a play for HSN.
In case you didn't already know, here's the quick lowdown on the home shopping family tree: HSN was owned by IAC (i.e. Barry Diller); however, Liberty Media (i.e. John Malone), which owns QVC, had a 30% stake in IAC. So HSN and the Q were kinda sorta related--cousins from an inbred family, perhaps?
Anyway, then IAC spun off HSN into its own company cause Barry Diller's got better things to do now--like buying matchmaking websites in China!
On a recent conference call, Liberty CEO Gregg Maffei said that they are prohibited from making a bid on HSN until May 2010. "But we do believe we are the natural owner at some point of that company. We're the one with the most synergies." Maffei added that in the meantime, QVC has the right to increase its stake in HSN from 30% to 35%.
I don't know why Liberty wants even more of the home shopping biz--even though they are the "natural owner" with the most "synergies." Especially considering QVC's recent lackluster sales--domestic revenue fell 12% last quarter (that's the uber important holiday season too) mostly due to declines in jewelry and apparel. However, QVC President and CEO Mike (King) George swears on his brand new Mini Dell that the fall-off is not because that aren't attracting new customers or that their existing customers are leaving, but due to customers just buying less frequently.
And FYI, Liberty also just bailed out Sirius XM, so I'd be expecting a Sirius XM Radio TSV on the Q soon--only 6 easy payments, y'all!