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John Malone

Ascent Capital's largest stockholder sells half of his preferred shares

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Some intriguing financial news out of the Monitronics/Ascent Capital camp. Ascent Capital Group’s largest direct stockholder, media mogul John Malone, recently sold half his preferred shares—worth $32.7 million in cash—back to the company, according to a news release from Ascent Capital. The divestment comes nearly three years after Ascent acquired Monitronics in a $1.2 billion deal.

Malone, who sold 351,734 shares, now owns the same number of Series B shares, plus 198,540 Series A shares, which together comprise 21.6 percent of the Ascent shareholder vote, the release noted.

In an email exchange, Henry Edmonds, president of The Edmonds Group, a St. Louis-based investment bank, indicated that the move would likely please shareholders. "Ascent has had plenty of cash on its balance sheet so this is not a bad use of funds to help stock price," he said.

It will be interesting to see what (if any) effect this has on operations at Monitronics, a wholly owned operating subsidiary of Ascent. An investor I contacted seemed to believe it would not have much effect. Yesterday, the company announced that it will report its earnings on Nov. 12, 2013. On that date, the company will host a conference call in which management will give an update on Ascent’s operations, including the financial performance of Monitronics, and “may also discuss future opportunities,” the release said.

In all likelihood I’ll be dialing into that conference call, which I’m hoping will shed some light on what those opportunities might be. 

Where’s the media in Ascent Media?

Company has cable/media connections, but it’s all about security now
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03/17/2011

PALM BEACH, Fla.—The media in Ascent Media—the new owner of Monitronics—is really limited to the company name. That was one of the messages from Bill Fitzgerald, chairman of the board of Ascent Media Corporation, at the Barnes Buchanan conference here in February.
He got some laughs from the conference crowd when he said: “You’re looking at me and thinking ‘Here come the cable guys again.’”
In some ways, Fitzgerald said, the crowd was right to think that. After all, Fitzgerald came to Ascent Media from AT&T Broadband, formerly known as TeleCommunications, Inc. (TCI).  He also still holds the post of SVP of Liberty Media Corporation, whose chairman is cable industry pioneer John Malone.