Liberty Global pulls out of Essent Kabelcom auction leaving way clear for Warburg-Cinven

3 Aug 2006

Private equity firms Warburg Pincus and Cinven Group have won the auction for the Netherlands’ second largest CATV operator, Essent Kabelcom, according to Dow Jones Newswires quoting people familiar with the deal. The pair are reported to have tabled a bid of between EUR2.5 billion and EUR3 billion for the cableco after US-based Liberty Global withdrew from the auction yesterday.

Liberty Global Europe’s managing director of Public Policy & Communications, Manuel Kohnstamm, said that the company had pulled out of the process for a number of reasons, including the fact that it did not feel it could ‘live up to some of the demands of the Essent Kabelcom workers’ council in the case of a takeover.’ He added that while the purchase would have made a nice ‘add-on’ for Liberty Global, it was not deemed a ‘must-have’ buy, given that the firm already has a strong footprint in the Netherlands.