Liberty Global have announced they are to acquire Ziggo, the leading Dutch multi-systems operator (MSO) for €10 billion, providing Liberty Global a footprint of 7 million (90 percent) of Dutch homes for broadband, TV and telephone. Prior to the purchase, Liberty Global’s UPC Netherlands was the second largest player for in the Dutch market, with 2.8 million homes. The deal comes just four months after Ziggo rejected an initial offer from Liberty Global which Ziggo labelled ‘inadequate’.
In a statement Mike Fries, CEO of Liberty Global, said, “Our combined
operations will reach over 90% of all Dutch households allowing us to compete more effectively with the other national telecommunications and satellite platforms in the Netherlands, and at the same time generate significant revenue and operating efficiencies. We are targeting €160 million in annual run-rate synergies by 2018, which will underpin our growth profile over the next few years in the Netherlands and for Liberty Global overall, as we continue to build scale in Western Europe.”
And Liberty Global’s scale across Western Europe is considerable, with 8 brands (Virgin Media, UPC, Telenet, Unity Media Kabel BW, Chello Media, Liberty and VTR.com) now in operation across 12 European markets, where they are typically either the largest or second largest player in the market. Although the company is headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Liberty Global doesn’t have any operations in the United States. The only American markets it works in are Puerto Rico and Chile, the rest being in Europe.