Liberty Global finalises Ziggo takeover deal

27 January 2014 | Sophie Donoghue


Liberty Global has announced that it has agreed to acquire Dutch cable operator Ziggo in a deal valued at approximately €10 billion ($13.7 billion).

The takeover will allow Liberty, which is controlled by billionaire John Malone, to combine the business with its UPC cable unit in the Netherlands.

“This transaction creates a nationwide cable champion that will drive investment and innovation for the benefit of Dutch consumers and businesses alike,” said Mike Fries, CEO at Liberty Global.

The move will expand the company’s footprint to approximately 90% of homes in the country, allowing the US cable company to compete more effectively with other national telecoms and satellite platforms.

“For Ziggo this is a great opportunity to create a Dutch industry leader together with UPC Netherlands,” said Andrew Sukawaty, chairman of the supervisory board of Ziggo. “Our customers will benefit as the new combination has an agenda of investing in growth and innovative solutions, helping customers to enjoy media and entertainment even more while at the same time ensuring a high level of data-security and privacy.”

Ziggo rejected a takeover bid from the cable company in October 2013, claiming its offer was too low. Talks for the acquisition were thenre-opened in December last year.

At the same time, Ziggo launched a debt financing for the acquisition through an all-loan debt package.

Ziggo have mandated banks for a €3.735 billion term loan. The loan will be split into euro and dollar tranches, both maturing in January 2022.

The proceeds will refinance Ziggo’s debt as well as its acquisition by Liberty.