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Braves President: Liberty Has No Imminent Plans To Sell Club

  • High-performing club plans no major shifts in new corporate structure
  • Stock ends down on first day of trading after strong initial jump
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
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Atlanta Braves president and CEO Derek Schiller admits to regularly checking the team’s stock price, now that it’s a standalone public company.

But beyond those peeks at the market, the longtime team executive is attempting to make the team’s split from Liberty Media as insignificant an internal shift as possible.

The Braves completed their long-planned split from Liberty this week and began trading on Wednesday. As MLB’s best team on — and perhaps off — the field, the Braves’ organizational plan is to continue that run of success unimpeded.

“We’re going to operate the same way today that we did yesterday,” Schiller told Front Office Sports. “The way we’ve enjoyed success is still the recipe moving forward. The main difference now is more disclosure — which means more lawyers, more accountants, and more eyeballs on those sorts of things.”

Braves stock fell 15% on its first day after a 24% jump at the opening bell, but the team carried a market capitalization of $2.74 billion at the beginning of trading, in line with external valuations.

The split is seen as a potential precursor to the sale of the club, as the corporate separation eases the tax implications of such a deal. But Schiller said a sale isn’t imminent, even as Liberty chairman John Malone controls nearly half the team’s shares.

“Liberty Media has given no indication of selling the team — in fact, quite the opposite,” Schiller said. “They’ve been quite happy, and everything they’re telling us is to keep it going.”

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