Liberty Media shareholders have approved the Atlanta Braves’ plans to become an independent, publicly traded company — but the company will still be a core part of the Braves’ reality for the foreseeable future.
Although the shareholders’ assent to the deal followed a speedy 10-minute virtual special meeting on Monday, the transaction to make the Braves a standalone operation is more complex.
Each share of the current Liberty Braves Group tracking stock will be exchanged for a share of the new Atlanta Braves Holdings Inc., with the formal transition due after Tuesday’s close of business.
While the Braves and Liberty are “entering into certain agreements in order to govern the ongoing relationships” between the two, significant overlap will remain.
Liberty chairman John Malone is expected to retain about 47.5% of the aggregate voting power of Atlanta Braves Holdings, and company CEO Greg Maffei will be the chairman, CEO, and president of the new entity. Other projected board members include current Braves chairman Terry McGuirk, Liberty board director Brian Deevy, Hallmark Media president and CEO Wonya Lucas, and Rocksolid Holdings managing director Diana Murphy.
Liberty will also provide Atlanta Braves Holdings with various corporate governance and financial services for a monthly fee.
Designed in part to highlight the Braves’ success as the MLB’s best team on and perhaps off the field, the split is seen as a potential precursor to an eventual sale of the club: The corporate separation eases the tax implications of such a deal.