Liberty wants to rescue Kabel BW deal
Jörn Krieger ©RapidTVNews | 24-10-2011 In a last-minute attempt to gain approval for its planned take-over of Germany's third largest cable operator Kabel BW, US media company Liberty Global has offered concessions to the German cartel office, Bundeskartellamt, which is currently probing the deal.
The move is aimed to remove the competition authority's concerns against the acquisition. Liberty Global and Kabel BW have submitted an "offer of commitments", a cartel office spokesman told news agency Reuters without revealing details.
In around one week, the cartel office wants to provide a "preliminary legal assessment" of the take-over plans, the spokesman added. The companies involved then have the opportunity to respond. The cartel office wants to close its probe by 15 December 2011.
The authority, which has so far viewed mergers in the cable industry critically, has thereby extended its review period by one month.
Liberty Global announced in March 2011 to take over Kabel BW for around €3.16 billion from Swedish financial investor EQT. The US company already acquired cable operator Unitymedia in November 2009. With the move, Germany's second and third largest cable companies would be in one hand.