Commenting on the development, Mike Fries, CEO of Liberty Global, stated, “We are pleased that the European Commission has approved our pending acquisition of Ziggo, which will benefit consumers and businesses across the Netherlands given our commitment to investment and innovation in the Dutch market. We are excited to create a national cable champion, and look forward to restarting our share buyback program very soon.”
Andrew Sukawaty, chairman of the supervisory board of Ziggo, added, “The approval from the European Commission is an important milestone in the process of combining two individual cable companies into a strong national provider for Dutch consumers. Both the Management and Supervisory Board have unanimously recommended the offer to shareholders as we believe it is in the best interests of Ziggo and its stakeholders,including shareholders.”
Liberty Global has offered commitments to address certain competition concerns from the EC, including the divestment of its Film1 business in the Netherlands and certain behavioral commitments with regards to contracts with broadcasters as well as certain minimum IP transit capacity.
In order to comply with US regulatory requirements, Liberty Global has also announced that it may, subject to the terms and conditions of the Offer, reduce the minimum acceptance level condition of the Offer to 65% of Ziggo’s aggregate issued and outstanding ordinary share capital (excluding any shares held by Ziggo), on a fully-diluted basis, as of the acceptance closing date.