Ziggo rebuffs Liberty Global takeover bid

Editor | 17-10-2013

He may be on supermarket sweep of European cable assets but John Malone will not be putting Ziggo into the Liberty Global basket – not yet anyway.

Despite confirming that Liberty had indeed attempted to make another significant addition to its portfolio by taking control of a company in which it already has a 12.65% stake, the Netherlands cableco has publicly rejected any such overtures from the US media giant.

In a short but telling statement not entirely closing the door, Ziggo said that it noted the recent market speculation and confirmed that it had received a preliminary proposal regarding a potential offer for the company by Liberty Global. Ziggo slammed the potential offer as “inadequate”, adding that there was no certainty that it would receive any revised offer.

Liberty Global acquired its existing holding in Ziggo — 25.3 million shares from Barclays Capital Securities for a total investment of approximately €632.5 million — at the end of March 2013, only weeks after revealing it was buying out Virgin Media and boosting its stake in Belgian operator Telenet to 58.4%. Barclays became owner of Ziggo following an unsuccessful IPO for which it had been the underwriter.

At the time Liberty said that it considered the acquisition of the minority stake in Ziggo as "an attractive opportunity" to make a strategic investment in a market where it already enjoys a sizeable presence through its UPC Netherlands subsidiary.