Liberty Global has announced that its subsidiary Belgian Cable Investors has exercised an option to increase its stake in Belgian cable operator Telenet, by buying up 6.75 million shares for a total EUR135 million (USD173 million). The shares will be acquired from a number of Belgian local municipal cable operators (intermunicipalities), including Electrabel and Interkabel. Upon completion of the deals Belgian Cable Investors will hold 28.07% of Telenet.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Mechelen-based Telenet is the principal competitor to Belgacom in the fixed line and broadband markets, alongside its sister cable network operator UPC. Established in 1996, Telenet provides its services through the cable networks of 16 intermunicipalities, which are connected via its own SDH 11,000km fibre-optic backbone. It leases other networks in Brussels, the Walloon provinces and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. In total the HFC networks pass more than 2.48 million franchised homes in Flanders, equal to around 99% of Belgium’s Flemish speaking population (and around 58% of the country’s total population).