Wed, Jun. 15, 10:13 AM
Mon, May 9, 5:23 PM
Tue, Mar. 1, 4:58 PM
- Hutchison (OTCPK:HUWHY) is headed to a closed-door meeting with EU regulators to address objections to its £10.3B deal to buy out rival telecom O2 (TEF +4.3%), Reuters reports.
- The company will meet with the European Commission on March 7, along with rivals Sky (OTCQX:SKYAY +2.4%), Virgin Media (LBTYA +2.8%), TalkTalk (OTC:TKTCY), Vodafone (VOD +3.1%) and BT Group (BT +3.4%). Iliad (OTCPK:ILIAY +2.5%), the small provider owned by French billionaire Xavier Niel, could also take part.
- The long-in-the-works deal has generated plenty of heat, as the combination of Hutchison's Three UK (the country's No. 4 wireless provider) with Telefonica's O2 (the No. 2 provider) would create the country's largest, reducing the market to three major competitors.
- When the EC opened a full probe into the deal in October, the move suggested that heavy concessions were likely on the way to make the deal happen -- and they may include creating a smaller competitor. (TalkTalk has said it would love to help.)
- The UK tried to take over the probe, but the EC rejected that request and kept control of the deal investigation in early December.
- After hours: TEF -4.2%; LBTYA, VOD, BT flat.
- Previously: Europe rejects UK's effort to examine Three's O2 buyout (Dec. 04 2015)
- Previously: Europe opens full probe into Telefonica-Hutchison UK mobile merger (Oct. 30 2015)
Fri, Feb. 19, 11:39 AM
- Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY -0.9%) has suspended plans to sell its Dutch unit after terms from two bidders didn't meet expectations, the Financial Times reports.
- Two suitors had remained for T-Mobile Netherlands -- Warburg Pincus and Apollo -- but DT was looking for more than €3B, and the deal became more difficult with this week's news that Liberty Global (LBTYA -1.1%) and Vodafone (VOD -1.2%) were merging their Dutch operations in a joint venture to create a stronger competitor.
- A deal could be revived in the future, a source said, as DT still wants out of difficult markets where it can't add extra services.
- Previously: Reuters: Warburg Pincus enters fray for T-Mobile Netherlands (Nov. 12 2015)
Tue, Feb. 16, 1:03 AM
- Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA) and Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) are merging Dutch operations in a joint venture, in a bit of an appetizer before what could be a broader combination of operations in the future.
- It's a big appetizer, though -- the 50/50 venture is valued at more than €19B -- and the companies said discussions around the Netherlands venture haven't ranged into any other areas.
- The venture will sell mobile and cable under both companies' brands (Ziggo and Vodafone), and Vodafone will pay €1B as part of the deal to equalize their ownership.
- It will have more than 15M revenue-generating units, and the companies expect after the deal closes later this year that they'll see cost and revenue synergies of €3.5B (and €350M in integration costs).
Mon, Feb. 15, 9:30 PM
Tue, Feb. 2, 9:49 AM
- Vodafone (VOD -2%) and Liberty Global (LBTYA -0.5%) are back and talking about possible asset swaps again, after talks about trades in Europe (and maybe a merger?) fell apart last year, Bloomberg reports.
- Sources said the talks restarted since the beginning of 2016 and could include asset swaps and co-investments in "several" European countries.
- Again, though, talks are likely to center on the Netherlands (where Liberty wants to grow) and the UK and Germany, the largest markets for the two.
- After gaining earlier in London, shares are down 1.6% there and ADRs are off 2% on a day where the broader U.S. market is off to a rough start.
Thu, Jan. 21, 11:34 AM
- Virgin Media (LBTYA +1.1%) will cut 900 jobs in the next two years as it focuses on "expanding, investing and growing our business."
- The company's not saying where the cuts will focus, but that it expects to increase its overall workforce to 25,000 this year, from 23,000. That figure includes outsourced and overseas staff; about 13,600 workers are directly employed, suggesting that increases could come via outsourced personnel.
- Virgin Media is continuing to focus on its £3B "Project Lightning" plan to connect its high-speed network to an additional 4M premises over the next five years.
Wed, Jan. 20, 11:36 AM
- The EU is set to approve the €1.3B takeover of KPN's (OTCPK:KKPNY -2.2%) Belgian telecom unit by Liberty Global (LBTYA -2.8%), after some divestments to clear the deal, Reuters reports.
- The approval would mean the first telecom merger OK'd by Margrethe Vestager, the European Competition Commissioner, since the EC squashed TeliaSonera and Telenor's plan to merge their Danish units.
- Liberty's Telenet unit has been pursuing KPN's Base over the past year. The combination would be slightly behind market leader Proximus and comparable in size to Mobistar (controlled by Orange).
- To facilitate the deal, Telenet will sell all the customers from Base's JIM Mobile brand to rival Medialaan, along with its 50% stake in another brand (Mobile Viking) -- with the longer-term picture showing Medialaan as an MVNO on the Base network.
- Previously: Liberty Global unit selling customers to pursue OK for Belgian takeover (Nov. 20 2015)
- Previously: EU regulators extend probe into Liberty Global-KPN Belgian deal (Nov. 03 2015)
Fri, Jan. 15, 7:18 PM
- Telefonica (TEF -3.5%) is expressing interest in buying Latin American assets from AT&T (T -0.9%) that could come to $10B in value, Reuters reports.
- AT&T acquired the pay TV assets in its acquisition of DirecTV last year, and CEO Randall Stephenson said in December that the company would consider selling them but was in "no rush" and would be patient.
- A source told Reuters that other parties were interested in specific country assets -- AT&T acquired services in Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela and Argentina among other countries -- so AT&T could run multiple sale processes and deal with a company like Liberty Global (LBTYA -4.7%).
- Meanwhile, Telefonica has been making portfolio changes but against some €50B in debt (about $54B). It's looking to sell Spanish infrastructure and agreed to sell its O2 business in the UK to CK Hutchison holdings for $15B.
Mon, Jan. 11, 11:23 AM
- Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA) is off 5.2% and is tagging a 52-week low following a Morgan Stanley downgrade.
- The firm lowered its rating on shares to Equal Weight from Overweight and slashed its price target to $43, from $56 -- about 12.6% upside from yesterday's closing price of $38.20.
- Shares are now over 37% below 52-week highs set in the summer.
- Previously: Vodafone, Liberty Global up amid reports that deal talks are back on (Dec. 31 2015)
Dec. 31, 2015, 9:41 AM
- Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) is up 1.5% in early going, and Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA) up 2.8%, after the Daily Mail covered chatter about a large tie-up to come early in the new year.
- "Apparently corporate financiers have been working long hours over the festive period" on a potential £140B merger between the two, Geoff Foster writes -- though a much discussed asset swap is still more likely, and all talks fizzled out a few months back.
- Dealers are saying that Liberty's John Malone is pursuing new talks and the companies are getting favorable nods from major investors for a friendly deal, Foster says.
- Previous deal coverage
Nov. 24, 2015, 6:16 PM
- Liberty Global (LBTYA -1.8%) can see more expansion coming in Europe, but the company won't pursue growth for growth's sake, says chief Mike Fries.
- “We’re not motivated by building empires,” Fries says. “We’re motivated by creating value.”
- Yet as empire-building goes, the company is taking on Caribbean-focused Cable & Wireless (OTCPK:CWIXF) for $8B (including debt), one of well over a dozen $1B-plus acquisitions the company has completed over the past 20 years, with an accumulation of debt to go with that.
- Its equation could have changed entirely with talks over a massive combination with Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) -- before they turned into talks over an asset swap and ultimately fizzled. "We never say never," says Fries, "but there is nothing happening at the moment."
- And while John Malone (who holds 24% of voting rights) is known for big dealings, Fries says he leaves the company to pursue its course: “I’ve been chief executive for 10 years and everything we’ve done has been self-created. We have the benefit of [Malone’s] strategic insight and guidance but he is not a puppeteer.”
- Previously: Liberty Global unit selling customers to pursue OK for Belgian takeover (Nov. 20 2015)
- Previously: Malone tripling stake in Lions Gate through Discovery, Liberty Global (Nov. 10 2015)
Nov. 16, 2015, 2:19 PM
- Liberty Global (LBTYA -1.7%) agrees to acquire Caribbean cable operator Cable & Wireless Communications (OTCPK:CWIXF +26.8%) in a cash and stock deal valued at $5.3B, extending John Malone’s European cable empire deeper into Latin America.
- The stock offer is valued at 78.04 pence/share, a 6% premium to Cable & Wireless's Monday closing price of 73.54 pence in London; including a special dividend to be paid when the deal closes, total consideration comes to 81.04 pence/share, which Liberty Global says represents a 40% premium to Cable & Wireless' closing share price on Oct. 21, the day reports stated the companies were in talks.
- The purchase would give Malone a critical mass in Latin America, where he created the LiLAC (LILAK +2.2%) tracking stock in July for Liberty Global’s assets in Chile and Puerto Rico.
Nov. 11, 2015, 11:14 AM
- Private-equity firms are lining up bids for Deutsche Telekom's (OTCQX:DTEGY +1.2%) unit in the Netherlands, with Apax and CVC getting close to final offers, Reuters reports.
- Bain Capital and Providence are also expected to get involved. The division could be valued at up to €3B.
- P-E firms may have the inside line on bidding; Xavier Niel's Iliad (OTCPK:ILIAY) or Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA) could get involved, though Liberty already competes in the Netherlands with its Ziggo unit and is currently pursuing a purchase of Belgium's Base.
- DT's operation is behind competitors KPN and Vodafone in the Dutch market.
Nov. 5, 2015, 8:52 PM
- Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA) rose fractionally after hours following a Q3 report where revenue surprised with a 2.2% increase as the company added new customers in Europe.
- Subscriber additions rose sequentially to 320,000, and video attrition was cut in half from numbers earlier this year. That included 220,000 new broadband subscribers, fueled by Germany and the UK.
- Total subscription services in RGUs came to 53.2M across a footprint of 48.8M homes passed in Europe: 22.8M video, 16.6M broadband, 13.8M telephony.
- Revenue by geo: UK/Ireland, $1.783B (down 4.3%); Netherlands, $681.4M (up 126%); Germany, $603M (down 10.2%); Belgium, $512.5M (down 11%); Switzerland/Austria, $437.9M (down 4.9%); Central and Eastern Europe, $266.2M (down 14.7%); Chile, $204.3M (down 8.7%); Puerto Rico, $104.5M (up 37%).
- Free cash flow jumped to $770M (for Q3; for the year, free cash flow is $1.7B so far). The company reiterated its full-year guidance.
Liberty Global Plc is an international cable company that provides cable television and internet services. It connects people to the digital world and enables them to discover and experience its endless possibilities. The company's television, broadband internet, and telephony services are... More
Industry: CATV Systems
Country: United States
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