Liberty Global makes bid for German cable TV firm

Tuesday 18 June 2013 11.51
John Malone's Liberty Global has slowly expanded its European operations in recent years
John Malone's Liberty Global has slowly expanded its European operations in recent years

Kabel Deutschland - Germany's biggest cable operator – has confirmed it has received a preliminary approach from Liberty Global Plc, which owns UPC in Ireland.

According to reports in The Financial Times, the company has put forward a €7.5 billion bid for the company.

Kabel Deutschland did not provide any details of the proposal.

A spokesman for Liberty Global confirmed that the company had made a preliminary approach but declined to comment further.

The FT reported that the offer by Liberty Global, owned by American cable television magnate John Malone, is at about €85 per share, citing people familiar with the talks.

Liberty Global's offer sets the stage for a bidding war with Vodafone Group Plc, which last week confirmed that it made an offer to buy Kabel Deutschland but did not provide any details.

It was reported on Friday that Vodafone, the world's second-biggest mobile operator, was considering raising its offer for Kabel Deutschland after an initial €7.2 billion bid was knocked back by Kabel Deutschland.

Liberty Global, which operates as Unity Media in Germany, is the number two cable operator in the country and a potential offer would meet scrutiny from competition authorities.

Liberty Global bought Britain’s Virgin Media in February in a cash and stock deal that valued Virgin's equity at $15.8 billion.

The company has operations across Europe, in countries like the Netherlands, Austria and the Czech Republic.