Telenet and LGI disagree over valuation

October 30, 2012 09.28 Europe/London By Robert Briel

Belgian cable operator Telenet has said Liberty Global’s buy-out bid for the remaining shares of the company is too low.

Telenet has asked independent expert Lazard to value Telenet shares. The accounts valued Telenet shares at €37-42, higher than Liberty Global’s bid at €35 per share. Lazard said it compared Telenet to peers such as Ziggo and Virgin Media, adding a premium of 20% based on the activities of the company’s directors.

In a counter move, Liberty Global announced its intention to proceed with the offer for Telenet at €35.00 per share while removing the 95% minimum acceptance condition.

Liberty Global said it “considers the offer price to be highly attractive for Telenet shareholders and intends to proceed with the intended offer as soon as practically possible, irrespective of the recommendation expressed by the independent directors of Telenet.”

Liberty Global has “serious reservations regarding the long-term business plan assumptions that were used in the valuation report prepared by Lazar.”

Telenet said it will review the offer, with the assistance of UBS. The cable operator added that its independent directors are currently preparing a dissenting opinion to the bid, also contesting the price. Liberty Global already owns 50.4% of Telenet.

Last week Belgian stock market regulator FSMA suspended Telenet from trading Thursday, saying it was waiting for information relating to the Belgian cable’s company planned acquisition by Liberty Global to be made public.