US cable holding group Liberty Global Inc (LGI) has confirmed that it is set to up its stake in Belgian cableco Telenet to around 58.4% following the closure of a voluntary and conditional cash offer launched by its wholly-owned subsidiary Binan Investments.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in September 2012 LGI announced its intention to launch an offer to buy the outstanding shares in Telenet that it did not already own for EUR1.96 billion (USD2.55 billion). At that date, through Binan Investments LGI already held a 50.4% stake in the operator and has been the controlling shareholder since February 2007. However, the offer, which was based on a price of EUR35 per ordinary share, faced criticism from a number of Telenet’s larger shareholders, as well as a financial advisor appointed by Telenet’s independent board members, for being too low.
Confirming that 9,497,637 ordinary shares and 3,000 warrants had been tendered into the voluntary and conditional cash offer, LGI has noted that the official announcement of the results in the Belgian financial press, in accordance with article 32 of the Belgian Royal Decree of April 27 on public takeover bids, will take place on 18 January 2013. Payment on tendered shares and warrants is subsequently expected to take place on 1 February 2013, and following acceptance of the tendered shares LGI will hold 66,342,037 shares and 3,000 warrants in Telenet.
In making the announcement, LGI also reiterated that it intends to align the strategy and the operations of Telenet in line with the rest of its operations, and said it is currently reviewing the ‘organisation, governance and reporting structure at Telenet with the intention of effecting a closer management integration of Telenet within its European operations’.
Commenting on the development meanwhile, Mike Fries, LGI’s president and CEO, said: ‘We believe that this is the right time for Telenet to be more closely integrated within our pan-European platform and in an environment where scale is paramount, we believe that closer integration will benefit all Telenet stakeholders.’