The international cable TV and broadband group Liberty Global has agreed to acquire the remainder of Dutch cable operator Ziggo for EUR6.9 billion (USD9.44 billion) in a cash and shares transaction. Liberty Global, which already owns 28.5% of Ziggo, plans to merge the operator with its existing Dutch cable business UPC, creating a firm which will have more than four million customers and networks passing over 90% of all homes in the Netherlands.
Under the deal, Ziggo shareholders will receive EUR11 in cash plus 0.2282 Liberty Global Class A ordinary shares and 0.5630 Liberty Global Class C ordinary shares for each Ziggo share. Including debt, the agreement values Ziggo at around EUR10 billion. Liberty Global expects to realize EUR160 million in annual cost savings from combining the two businesses. The deal must receive regulatory clearance from European Commission (EC) competition authorities, but Liberty Global expects the acquisition to be completed in the second half of 2014.
Ziggo recently posted revenues of EUR1.565 billion for 2013, up 1.8% year-on-year, while EBITDA rose 5.5% to EUR887 million. Ziggo saw its broadband subscriber base increase 6% during 2013 to stand at 1.855 million by 31 December, while voice telephony subscribers grew by 6.9% to 1.565 million.