Liberty Global, the parent of Dutch cable services operator UPC Netherlands, has reportedly submitted a number of concessions to the European Commission (EC) as it looks to smooth the way for its planned takeover of rival cableco Ziggo. Telecompaper cites a spokesman for Liberty Global as confirming a recent statement on the European Union (EU) competition authority’s website noting that the concessions were sent on 14 July. Although no details are available on the extent of Liberty Global’s proposals, the group says it is holding productive talks with the Dutch authorities and still aims to complete the takeover in the second half of the year, having launched a formal bid in June.
Under the deal, first announced in January 2014, Ziggo shareholders will be able to sell off their shares in the period of 2 July to 10 September, with a two- to ten-week extension available, if required. Based on Liberty Global’s closing share price (26 June 2014), it is understood the bid is worth EUR35.64 (USD49.56) per share – in cash and Liberty ‘A’ and ‘C’ shares. Liberty will declare the offer ‘unconditional’ if a minimum 95% of Ziggo’s shares are sold, but has the option to reduce that limit to 80% or even 65% if Ziggo’s board approves.
Ziggo stockholders will vote on the planned takeover bid at an EGM scheduled for 26 August. The management and board of Ziggo (which currently hold 0.6% of the firm’s equity) have recommended the Liberty Global bid, which still needs EC approval. An EC decision is expected on or before 17 October.