Liberty Global has acquired 25.3 million shares in Holland’s largest cable operator, Ziggo from Barclays Capital Securities Limited at €25.00 per share.
LGI’s total investment is approximately €632.5 million. As a result of this investment, Liberty Global owns 12.65% of Ziggo, based on the shares outstanding as of December 31, 2012.
The supervisory board and the board of management of Ziggo said in a statement that they “will continue to focus on executing Ziggo N.V.’s strategy in the best interests of its stakeholders.”
The move follows the news that Barclays registered its holding in Ziggo with Dutch market regulator AFM, because it failed to sell all 20 million shares brought to the market by its original investors, Cinven and Warburg Pincus. The deal was priced at €25.05 to raise €1bn.
In a press statement, Liberty Global said it considers the acquisition of this 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. “The purchase price is also financially attractive given the stock’s approximate 7.4% dividend yield, which is implied by Ziggo’s expectation that it will pay €370 million of dividends during 2013.”
Liberty Global will fund the acquisition of Ziggo shares with a non-recourse margin loan and existing liquidity. As the transaction does not result in Liberty Global obtaining a controlling interest in Ziggo, no regulatory approvals are required.
Ziggo is the country’s largest cable operator, serving around 3 million households, 1.8 million broadband internet customers, 2.2 million digital television customers and 1.4 million telephone subscribers.