Confirming recent reports, John Malone’s Liberty Global broadband outfit – the world’s largest outside China — said on Monday that it will buy what it doesn’t already own of Dutch cable provider Ziggo.
Ziggo’s other shareholders (Liberty already owns around 28.5 percent) will get €11 ($15) per share, along with some Liberty shares. This implies a price per Ziggo share of €34.53, taking the provider’s total valuation to €6.9 billion ($9.4 billion). Ziggo’s supervisory and management boards have unanimously recommended the deal.
Ziggo is the biggest cable company in the Netherlands and Liberty’s UPC is the second-biggest, though the two are not direct competitors due to a split in regional coverage. The combined operations, which will continue under the Ziggo brand, will reach 7 million Dutch homes, or 90 percent of the market.
The deal will also give Liberty a mobile play in the country, which it previously lacked – the current wave of European telco consolidations is largely about creating providers that can offer a full package of communication technologies.
However, Ziggo CEO Rene Obermann – who left the helm of the much larger Deutsche Telekom less than a month ago — is out the door. “If and when the transaction closes, it is not Mr. Obermann’s intention to be part of the new combination,” a Ziggo statement read.