Liberty to reorganise European subsidiaries

13 Jan 2015

UK-based telecoms group Liberty Global is embarking on a major restructuring of its European subsidiaries to simplify its debt structure. As part of the reorganisation process, the group is merging UPC Netherlands with Ziggo – another Netherlands-based company – while the UK’s Virgin Media will acquire UPC Ireland, Reuters reports. To that end, Ziggo is raising the equivalent of EUR730 million (USD864.07 million) in new senior bonds to finance the merger with UPC into a new Dutch credit pool. The group has also launched an offer on up to EUR1.475 billion of UPC’s loans to exchange into new loans issued out of a Ziggo special purpose vehicle. Meanwhile, Virgin will raise GBP300 million (USD454.7 million) of secured bonds and GBP625 million-equivalent of unsecured bonds for its acquisition of UPC Ireland. Charlie Bracken, Liberty’s co-chief financial officer, explained that the new strategy would encourage investment in the group, as it created a ‘much more investor friendly capital structure’. Treasurer Nick Marchant went on, adding: ‘UPC has very much been our catch-all asset group. But the reality in our mind is that UPC became too complex and too big.’

Ireland, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Liberty Global (incl. LGI), Virgin Media, Virgin Media Ireland (formerly UPC), VodafoneZiggo