Liberty Global Buys Minority Stake in Dutch Cable Operator for $807M

By FOXBusiness

Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA) inked a deal on Thursday to buy a 12.65% stake in Ziggo, the largest cable operator in the Netherlands, for $807 million.

Ziggo shares soared 12% on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange after Liberty confirmed that it scooped up 25.3 million shares from Barclays Capital Securities (NYSE:BCS) for 25 euros each, or about 632.5 million euros in total.

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Barclays acquired the stake a week ago for about 25.05 euros a share from Warburg Pincus and Cinven, which maintains a minority stake in Ziggo.

Liberty Global called the investment an “attractive opportunity” in a region where it already has a sizable presence through its UPC Netherlands subsidiary. The price assumes Ziggo, with a dividend yield of 7.4%, will pay 370 million euros in dividends in 2013.

Ziggo, which was listed in March of last year, saw its earnings climb 4% year-over-year in 2012 to $1.54 billion euros.

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Englewood, Colo.-based Liberty has been rapidly expanding its global presence through acquisitions and major investments. Last month, it bought U.K. cable-television and Internet provider Virgin Media for $16 billion.

The Ziggo deal, which doesn’t require regulatory approvals because Liberty is not seeking a controlling interest, will be funded with a non-recourse margin loan and existing liquidity.