Liberty Global, which became the largest ISP outside China when it bought Virgin Media in February, has made another investment in Europe, this time by buying a stake in Dutch cable operator Ziggo.
Ziggo is the largest cable provider in the Netherlands. Liberty announced on Thursday that it had picked up 25.3 million shares in the ISP at a total value of €632.5 million ($810.2 million), giving it a 12.65 percent stake.
This is not Liberty’s first Dutch investment. Indeed, it is also the owner of UPC — founded in the Netherlands — which provides broadband services across 10 European countries, namely the Netherlands, Austria, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland and Romania. In the Netherlands, UPC is the second-largest cable provider. Liberty also holds a majority stake in Belgium’s Telenet and maintains a European content division called Chellomedia.
According to Thursday’s statement:
“Liberty Global considers the acquisition of this minority stake in Ziggo as an attractive opportunity to make a strategic investment in a market where it already enjoys a sizeable presence through its UPC Netherlands subsidiary. The Purchase Price is also financially attractive given the stock’s approximate 7.4 percent dividend yield, which is implied by Ziggo’s expectation that it will pay €370 million of dividends during 2013.”