ASKYB SELLS ASSETS TO PRIMESTAR.
The consideration to be received will consist of non-voting Primestar securities with a value of $1.1 billion which is equal to the News Corporation, MCI and ASkyB cost of investment for the assets being sold and transferred, plus related interest expense.
This sale of assets enables ASkyB, News Corporation and MCI to receive value for their DBS assets. As a result of the sale, News Corporation will refocus its energies and resources in the U.S. on its core content and programming businesses.
The Primestar securities to be received in the transaction will be convertible into publicly traded common stock. These securities will remain non-voting, convertible to voting shares only upon a sale of the securities.
Primestar is the second largest U.S. direct broadcast satellite service with approximately 1.8 million subscriber homes.
Under a separate arrangement, the Primestar partners have agreed to consolidate their DBS assets into a new venture.
The transaction is subject to approvals of federal regulatory agencies. Primestar and Tempo Satellite have agreed to dispose of their rights in the license to operate 11 transponder channels at the 119 West Longitude orbital slot.
Concurrently, ASkyB has agreed to sell its Gilbert, Arizona satellite uplink facility to Tele-Communications, Inc. for a purchase price which represents ASkyB's investment in the facility, plus related interest expense.
ASkyB will independently sell two additional satellites which are under construction.
CONTACT: Primestar Partners L.P. Inquiries
Vincent Duffy, 212-521-5215
News Corporation Press Inquiries
Jim Platt, 212-852-7083
News Corporation Investor Inquiries
Reed Nolte, 212-852-7092