US cable holding group Liberty Global Inc’s (LGI’s) bid to buy the shares in Belgian cableco Telenet that it does not already own has been dismissed as too low by a financial advisor appointed by Telenet’s independent board members. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in September 2012 LGI confirmed its intention to launch a voluntary and conditional cash offer valued at EUR1.96 billion (USD2.55 billion) for the outstanding Telenet shares; it said it the offer would be based on a price of EUR35 per ordinary share, representing a 14% premium over the average closing price for the one-month period ending 18 September 2012. According to Reuters though, Telenet’s advisor Lazard has said that the shares are worth between EU37 and EUR42, with such prices understood to be based on the historical share price performance, analysts’ estimates and relevant multiples of sector peers. ‘Telenet has been informed that Liberty Global has serious reservations with regard to the revised assumptions mentioned,’ the Belgian cableco was cited as saying.
By comparison, having been advised by Morgan Stanley, LGI values Telenet at EUR28-EUR35 per share. The US company though would continue with its EUR35 per share bid, Telenet said, although it noted that the bid would no longer be conditional on attaining 95% of the Belgian outfit, it added. Through its wholly owned subsidiary, Binan Investments, LGI already holds a 50.14% stake in the operator and has been the controlling shareholder since February 2007.
In a separate but related announcement, Telenet meanwhile issued financial guidance for 2013, saying that it expected turnover to rise by between 10% and 11% compared to 2012, while EBITDA is forecast to rise by 7%-8%.