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Both companies have dual classes of shares that give Malone voting control. In regulatory filings, Malone gave David Zaslav, chief executive of Discovery, and Michael Fries, chief executive of Liberty Global, the option to buy his voting rights, or match a final offer from another potential buyer, should he choose to sell.
Malone said he was “thrilled” to have reached agreements with Zaslav and Fries. “Nothing is changing right now,” he said. “I have no plans to transfer any of my voting shares and plan on staying actively involved in both Liberty Global and Discovery Communications But, in the event that I do in the future decide to pursue the sale of my voting position, I am excited about providing these two strong executives . . . with a path toward acquiring that stake.”