Fans will soon be able to buy Atlanta Braves stock following Liberty Media split

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Braves Country can now officially own part of their favorite team. The owner of the club, Liberty Media, announced Thursday that its board of directors put forth a decision to pursue a split-off of the Atlanta Braves and The Battery, which will now be known as Atlanta Braves Holdings. However, it is pending approval from Major League Baseball.

“We plan to split off the Atlanta Braves into an asset-backed stock to better highlight its strong value,” Liberty Media President and CEO Greg Maffei said in a statement Thursday.

Maffei also forecasted a higher valuation and potential future sale at an Investor Day presentation. “You may have noticed there’s high demand out there for sports assets. Money is flowing into the ecosystem, with new players of all sorts driving demand. Among baseball teams, Baltimore and Washington are rumored to be contemplating a sale. We’d argue, I think with some reasons, that the Braves are a far more attractive asset.”

Atlanta Braves Holdings will essentially be its own entity, a separate publicly traded company from Liberty Media. In short, the move means all of the businesses, assets and liabilities — Truist Park, The Battery, etc. — will be held by Atlanta Braves Holdings, which should certainly improve the value of the Braves. When the announcement was made on Thursday morning, Liberty Media’s stock was up around 10%.

Braves fans will literally be able to own a portion of the team, unlike the Green Bay Packers stock, which offers no financial value and can’t be resold. There are similar situations all around professional sports. Rogers Communications Inc. owns the Toronto Blue Jays; Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. holds the New York Knicks and Rangers. That’s not the case for Braves Country.

While the move isn’t official, it should take place no later than June 2023. It remains to be seen how much of the team’s ownership will be traded. Liberty Media could retain 0 or 100% of the stock. It’s all a very fluid situation for the public as details of the split haven’t been announced.

Braves President and CEO Derek Schiller spoke at the Investor Day.

“From our perspective, from the Braves perspective, it’s business as usual,” Schiller said of the transaction. “Our goal every year is going to be try to win a World Series, operate the best sports and entertainment business possible. I think we have shown that and I think we are going to continue to show that.”

A brilliant part of this move is if a sale of the club was ever warranted, Liberty Media — or whoever owns a majority stake in Atlanta Braves Holdings — would be able to see how the market values the Braves as an asset without actually having to put it up for sale. There are many other wrinkles to this move as well.

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