US-based Liberty Global Inc (LGI), acting through its local unit UPC Netherlands, has reportedly increased its stake in fellow Dutch cable operator Ziggo to 28.50% from 18.20%, according to Telecompaper citing a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The increase comprises the acquisition of 17.5 million Ziggo shares, financed through a loan connected with a hedging deal secured by the cableco’s shares, the paper said. It is understood that whilst the board of Ziggo has acknowledged the move, it will continue to ‘act in the best interests of stakeholders in assessing steps made by Liberty Global while continuing to focus on executing Ziggo’s strategy’. In March this year LGI first moved to acquire a stake in Ziggo, buying a 12.65% holding in the company. It subsequently increased the stake holding to 15.00% and then to 18.20%, although Liberty’s CEO Mike Fries is on record as saying that despite the increases, his firm has no intention of buying all of the company.
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