Basis of Presentation
|9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2020
|Basis of Presentation
|Basis of Presentation
(1) Basis of Presentation
During May 2014, the board of directors of Liberty Media Corporation and its subsidiaries (“Liberty”) authorized management to pursue a plan to spin-off to its stockholders common stock of a wholly-owned subsidiary, Liberty Broadband Corporation (“Liberty Broadband” or the “Company”), and to distribute subscription rights to acquire shares of Liberty Broadband’s common stock (the “Broadband Spin-Off”). These financial statements refer to Liberty Broadband Corporation as “Liberty Broadband,” “the Company,” “us,” “we” and “our” in the notes to the condensed consolidated financial statements.
Through a number of prior years’ transactions, Liberty Broadband has acquired an interest in Charter Communications, Inc. (“Charter”). Pursuant to proxy agreements with GCI Liberty, Inc. (“GCI Liberty”) and Advance/Newhouse Partnership (“A/N”), Liberty Broadband controls 25.01% of the aggregate voting power of Charter.
The Company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Skyhook Holding, Inc. (“Skyhook”), focuses on the development and sale of Skyhook’s device-based location technology. Skyhook markets and sells two primary products: (1) a location determination service called the Precision Location Solution; and (2) a location intelligence and data insights service called Geospatial Insights.
The accompanying (a) condensed consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2019, which has been derived from audited financial statements, and (b) interim unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States (“GAAP”) for interim financial information and the instructions to Form 10-Q and Article 10 of Regulation S-X as promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Accordingly, they do not include all of the information and footnotes required by GAAP for complete financial statements. In the opinion of management, all adjustments (consisting of normal recurring accruals) considered necessary for a fair presentation of the results for such periods have been included. The results of operations for any interim period are not necessarily indicative of results for the full year. Additionally, certain prior period amounts have been reclassified for comparability with current period presentation. These condensed consolidated financial statements should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and notes thereto contained in Liberty Broadband's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019. All significant intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated in the condensed consolidated financial statements.
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenue and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates. The Company considers the application of the equity method of accounting for investments in affiliates and accounting for income taxes to be its most significant estimates.
In December 2019, Chinese officials reported a novel coronavirus outbreak (“COVID-19”). COVID-19 has since spread through China and internationally. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization assessed COVID-19 as a global pandemic, causing many countries throughout the world to take aggressive actions, including imposing travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders, closing public attractions and restaurants, and mandating social distancing practices.
We are not presently aware of any events or circumstances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic that would require us to update our estimates or judgments or revise the carrying value of our assets or liabilities. Our estimates may change, however, as new events occur and additional information is obtained, and any such changes will be recognized in the consolidated financial statements. Actual results could differ from estimates, and any such differences may be material to our financial statements.
Liberty Broadband holds an investment in Charter that is accounted for using the equity method. Liberty Broadband does not control the decision making process or business management practices of this affiliate. Accordingly, Liberty Broadband relies on the management of this affiliate to provide it with accurate financial information prepared in accordance with GAAP that the Company uses in the application of the equity method. In addition, Liberty Broadband relies on audit
reports that are provided by the affiliate's independent auditor on the financial statements of such affiliate. The Company is not aware, however, of any errors in or possible misstatements of the financial information provided by its equity affiliate that would have a material effect on Liberty Broadband's condensed consolidated financial statements.
On August 6, 2020, Liberty Broadband and GCI Liberty entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Liberty Broadband agreed to acquire all of the outstanding shares of GCI Liberty in a stock-for-stock merger (the “Combination”). Under the terms of the merger agreement each holder of Series A and B common stock of GCI Liberty will receive 0.58 of a share of Series C common stock and Series B common stock, respectively, of Liberty Broadband. Additionally, holders of a share of Series A Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock of GCI Liberty will receive one share of Series A Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock with mirror terms to be issued by Liberty Broadband. The Combination was recommended to the Company’s Board of Directors for approval by a special committee composed solely of independent, disinterested directors and advised by independent financial and legal advisors. The closing of the Combination is subject to certain customary conditions, including: (i) the adoption of the merger agreement by holders of a majority of the aggregate voting power of the GCI Liberty outstanding stock entitled to vote thereon not owned by John C. Malone and certain other persons, (ii) the adoption of the merger agreement by holders of a majority of the aggregate voting power of the Liberty Broadband outstanding stock entitled to vote thereon not owned by John C. Malone and certain other persons, (iii) the adoption of the merger agreement by holders of a majority of the aggregate voting power of the GCI Liberty outstanding stock entitled to vote thereon, (iv) approval of the Liberty Broadband stock issuance by holders of a majority of the aggregate voting power of the Liberty Broadband outstanding stock present in person or by proxy at the stockholder meeting and entitled to vote thereon and (v) the receipt of any applicable regulatory approvals. Liberty Broadband and GCI Liberty expect the Combination to close no later than the first quarter of 2021, subject to potential COVID-19 related delays.
Following the Broadband Spin-Off, Liberty and Liberty Broadband operate as separate, publicly traded companies, and neither has any stock ownership, beneficial or otherwise, in the other. In connection with the Broadband Spin-Off, Liberty (for accounting purposes a related party of the Company) and Liberty Broadband entered into certain agreements in order to govern certain of the ongoing relationships between the two companies after the Broadband Spin-Off and to provide for an orderly transition. These agreements include a reorganization agreement, a services agreement, a facilities sharing agreement and a tax sharing agreement.
The reorganization agreement provides for, among other things, the principal corporate transactions (including the internal restructuring) required to effect the Broadband Spin-Off, certain conditions to the Broadband Spin-Off and provisions governing the relationship between Liberty Broadband and Liberty with respect to and resulting from the Broadband Spin-Off. The tax sharing agreement provides for the allocation and indemnification of tax liabilities and benefits between Liberty and Liberty Broadband and other agreements related to tax matters. Pursuant to the services agreement, Liberty provides Liberty Broadband with general and administrative services including legal, tax, accounting, treasury and investor relations support. See below for a description of an amendment to the services agreement in December 2019. Under the facilities sharing agreement, Liberty Broadband shares office space with Liberty and related amenities at Liberty’s corporate headquarters. Liberty Broadband will reimburse Liberty for direct, out-of-pocket expenses incurred by Liberty in providing these services which will be negotiated semi-annually. Under these various agreements, amounts reimbursable to Liberty were approximately $1.0 million and $0.7 million for the three months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, respectively, and $3.2 million and $18.6 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, respectively.
In December 2019, the Company entered into an amendment to the services agreement with Liberty in connection with Liberty’s entry into a new employment arrangement with Gregory B. Maffei, the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Under the amended services agreement, components of his compensation will either be paid directly to him by each of the Company, Liberty TripAdvisor Holdings, Inc., GCI Liberty, and Qurate Retail, Inc. (collectively, the “Service Companies”) or reimbursed to Liberty, in each case, based on allocations among Liberty and the Service Companies set forth in the amended services agreement, currently set at 18% for the Company.