NEW YORK — Liberty Media is joining Comcast Corp. in its $2.2 billion bid to acquire QVC.
The two companies announced on Thursday a joint offer of $44 per share in cash for the outstanding shares of QVC.
Comcast’s original bid for QVC was also $44, but in cash and stock. Last week, Comcast, a cable company, broke up the QVC-CBS merger by bidding for the home-shopping network.
Comcast and Liberty, the programming arm of Tele-Communications, a cable giant, agreed that if a merger is consummated, QVC will be managed by Comcast.
Some analysts speculated Thursday that QVC chairman Barry Diller would not stay at QVC if the merger was completed, which they think will probably happen.
“I think it’s over,” said James Meyer, a securities analyst with Janney, Montgomery, Scott in Philadelphia. “I don’t think anybody else is going to compete with these two at a higher price.”
On Thursday, QVC’s stock closed at 44, down 1 3/4. Liberty Media’s stock closed at 21 1/16, up 3/16. Comcast closed at 16 3/4, up 7/8. All three are traded over the counter.
In other news, Q2, the new QVC shopping service that describes itself as a cross between a lifestyle magazine and specialty store, announced a new program, “Family Life,” based on the monthly magazine published by Wenner Media. Q2 is currently being tested and will be launched by the end of this month.
Like the magazine, the program will target families with children between the ages of three and 12.