John Malone’s Liberty Global has set its sights on the German cable market, according to reports in the German Handelsblatt. Following the acquisition of Unitymedia last November, the US media company is now looking at Kabel BW.
Kabel BW serves about 2.3 customers in the state of Baden-Württemberg. The operator is now owned by EQT, who has been looking for some time to sell its interest. Last year Unitymedia was looking to buy Kabel BW, but the talks failed to materialise.
Other possible Liberty targets could include the country’s largest operator, Kabel Deutschland KDG, now owned by Providence, and the troubled Orion Cable (TeleColumbus and Primacom). However, only on Friday Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries said the group was not planning further acquisitions.
This is the second time Malone’s Liberty has tried to get a foothold in the German cable market. The first was in 2001, when it offered to buy the nationwide cable network from Deutsche Telekom. The deal was thwarted by the German monopoly commission, after which the networks was divided in four regional players; Kabel Deutschland KDG, Kabel BW, Ish and Easy. The latter two later merged into Unitymedia serving the states of Northrhine-Westphalia and Hesse.