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Liberty Global Acquires 12.65% Stake in Ziggo

Written by on March 28, 2013

Liberty Global announced Thursday that it has acquired 12.65% of Ziggo, the largest cable operator in the Netherlands, for $632.5 million. While there was speculation that Liberty Global might acquire Ziggo before it went public about one year ago, we are surprised by the purchase now that Liberty Global is preparing to acquire Virgin Media .

Liberty Global already operates a cable network in the Netherlands, and a merger would probably be accretive and strengthen the firm’s economic moat. We don’t think Liberty Global has the firepower to simultaneously acquire all of Ziggo and Virgin Media, but by taking a stake now it can gain additional information on Ziggo and prepare for a full acquisition in the future.

While a bid for the whole company would require regulatory approval, it is not required for this noncontrolling stake.

 

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