Liberty Media Ups Cendant Shares
DENVER (AP) _ Liberty Media Corp. said it controls of 46.2 million shares, or 6.33 percent, of Cendant, a leading franchiser of real estate brokerage offices, hotels, rental car agencies and tax preparation services.
Analysts characterized the move as one that would allow Liberty to provide high-speed Internet access and cable programming to Cendant’s hotel franchises.
Liberty Media disclosed last week that it bought 19.8 million shares of Cendant common stock Nov. 16 from Lehman Brothers Inc. It also bought 4.1 million shares from Cendant for about $50 million.
Liberty then sold 29 million warrants for Cendant common stock, which it bought from Cendant in February, back to Cendant for about 2.3 million additional shares of Cendant common stock.
The transactions increased Liberty’s ownership by about 6.4 million shares.
The moves revealed Monday come despite Cendant’s decline this year. Liberty invested $400 million in Cendant a year ago, but it had not expected Cendant’s price to drop more than 60 percent this year, said Vivian Carr, a Liberty spokeswoman.
Shares of Liberty Media fell 43.8 cents Tuesday to $14.63 on the New York Stock Exchange, where shares of Cendant rose 31.2 cents to $9.75, well off their 52-week high of $26.94.