This decision should increase the value of the Braves. As of Thursday morning, following the announcement, Liberty Media’s stock was up about 10% to nearly $34 per share.
Maffei raised the real possibility of a split as early as 2016, but has repeatedly said over the next few years that it was not on the horizon. Thursday’s move toward a split could make the eventual sale of the Braves easier by eliminating some complicated tax issues.
“First of all, starting with the structure that we have, while (the team) is sitting in a (tracking stock), it would be really very unattractive from a tax point of view (for sale)” , Maffei said during last year’s Liberty Media Investor. Day. “Not likely to do that. Could we, somewhere down the road, do different things to create an option around this asset? Sure.”
Earlier this month, Liberty Media investor Breach Inlet Capital sent a letter, a second public notice, outlining why Liberty Braves shares are undervalued and should be split for maximize shareholder value.
Braves President and CEO Derek Schiller spoke in person at the Investor Day.
“From our perspective, from the Braves’ perspective, it’s business as usual,” Schiller said of the trade. “Our focus every year will be to try to win a World Series, to run the best sports and entertainment business we can. I think we’ve shown that, and I think we’re going to continue to show that.