Liberty Global offers concessions for approval of Kabel BW deal

24 Oct 2011

US cable company Liberty Global has reportedly offered concessions to help smooth the way for regulatory approval of its planned acquisition of German cableco Kabel BW, a spokesperson for local antitrust body the Federal Cartel Office (FCO) told news agency Reuters. Liberty Global emerged as the highest bidder to acquire Kabel BW from Swedish investment firm EQT in March 2011, beating bids from CVC and Hallman & Friedman with an offer of EUR3.16 billion (USD4.5 billion). There may be significant antitrust hurdles facing Liberty Global’s bid, however, as the US company already owns Germany’s second largest cableco by subscribers, Unitymedia. In June 2011 the European Commission (EC) agreed to transfer jurisdiction over the investigation into the planned acquisition to the FCO, which on Friday said that it had pushed back the deadline for its review of the deal from 11 November to 15 December. According to the FCO spokesperson, the cartel office is expected to provide a preliminary legal assessment of the matter within about a week, and the two companies will then have a chance to respond.

Germany, Kabel BW, Liberty Global (incl. LGI), Unitymedia