Liberty Global ups Ziggo stake

Cable MSO Liberty Global has increased its stake in Dutch cable operator Ziggo, giving rise to speculation about a possible takeover.

Liberty Global already had a 12.65 per cent holding in Ziggo, and raised its stake to 15 per cent, according to a filing with the Dutch stock market regulator AFM. Investment houses Cinven and Warburg Pincus April 26th sold their remaining 17 per cent stake in Ziggo for €25.75 a share.

Liberty Global March 28th acquired 25.3 million shares in Ziggo from Barclays Capital Securities Limited at €25.00 per share, representing a total investment of approximately €632.5 million.

At the time, it said it considered the acquisition of a 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. It said the Purchase Price was also financially attractive given the stock’s approximate 7.4 per cent dividend yield, which was implied by Ziggo’s expectation that it would pay €370 million of dividends during 2013.

Barclays was forced to disclose it had a 14.2 per cent stake in Ziggo to the Dutch market regulator on March 22 in accordance with local rules. It acquired the stake after agreeing to underwrite the sale of 40 million shares in Ziggo for €25.05 a share on behalf of Cinven and Warburg Pincus.

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