Liberty Global offers concessions to push through Telenet’s BASE buy

16 Sep 2015

US-owned international cable TV group Liberty Global has offered to make concessions in its bid to gain clearance for the EUR1.33 billion (USD1.5 billion) acquisition of Belgian mobile operator BASE Company by its own Belgian cable subsidiary Telenet. According to a report from Reuters, Liberty Global submitted its proposals to the EU competition authority earlier this week. The exact details of the concessions being offered have not been made public. Last week, EU authorities blocked the proposed merger of the Danish operations of TeliaSonera and Telenor on competition grounds.

As reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate in April this year, Telenet has agreed a EUR1.33 billion deal to acquire BASE, the smallest of Belgium’s three cellular operators, from current owner KPN of the Netherlands. Telenet will finance the deal via EUR1 billion of new debt, with the remainder from existing cash assets. The cable operator currently provides a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service to around 900,000 customers using the network of rival cellco Mobistar, and the acquisition of BASE will give it an additional 2.8 million mobile users. Netherlands-based KPN has now sold off all its international assets apart from a minority stake in Germany’s Telefonica Deutschland, which it inherited from its sale of E-Plus to Telefonica last year.

Belgium, BASE Company, Liberty Global, Telenet (incl. BASE)