Yesterday, 3:32 AM
- Liberty Global's (NASDAQ:LBTYA) Belgian unit has agreed to buy Royal KPN's (OTCPK:KKPNY) local mobile-phone business Base for €1.33B ($1.43B) as billionaire John Malone enlarges his European cable and telecommunications empire.
- Telenet (OTCPK:TLGHY) has about 900K mobile subscribers; Base has 3.3M.
- With Malone expanding through purchases across Europe, Liberty Global now owns cable and phone operations stretching from Hungary to the U.K.
Thu, Apr. 9, 9:08 PM
- Don't let recent merger challenges and failures fool you, Michael Wolff argues: "M&A mania" is coming to a media conglomerate near you amid pressure for a new wave of consolidation.
- "Perhaps never before has consolidation been so much the flavor of the month, nor has it seemed so difficult to get a taste," he writes. "The table is set, but nobody's sitting down to eat."
- If Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) fails in its bid for Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC), he notes, it just means other cablers will step up to match Comcast's ambition, and Comcast will still look for a way to stay dominant.
- He points to a number of mergers he thinks are easily imaginable: Viacom (NASDAQ:VIA) and FOX? Disney (NYSE:DIS) and Time Warner (NYSE:TWX)? TWC and Charter (NASDAQ:CHTR)? Discovery (NASDAQ:DISCA) and, well, most anyone (Disney, Fox, CBS)?
- Factors encouraging the wave: Media's all about video now, and the pure-play aspect makes merger logic cleaner; distribution and content are separate and now even antagonistic businesses; the growth of over-the-top means not unbundling but re-bundling; and everyone needs scale for negotiation strength in content and ad deals.
- Other key players: John Malone (LMCA, LBTYA, STRZA); Verizon (NYSE:VZ); Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF); Scripps Networks (NYSE:SNI); Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX); DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) and AT&T (NYSE:T); Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH).
Fri, Mar. 27, 10:15 AM
- Sony Pictures Television (NYSE:SNE) has agreed to acquire Dutch premium TV group Film1 from Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA), John Malone's European cable operator.
- The deal means Sony will own and operate five premium movie channels as well as its over-the-top "Film1 Go" digital distribution service.
- Liberty had acquired Film1 in buying Dutch cable operator Ziggo, and Ziggo will continue to carry the five Film1 channels, which feature films from Hollywood studios as well as independent productions.
- The move is another in a series of recent Sony transactions to acquire European channels, including deals in the UK and Hungary.
Fri, Feb. 20, 9:23 AM
- Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) -- in a tussle over German customers with Unitymedia KabelBW (NASDAQ:LBTYA) and Kabel Deutschland (NASDAQ:VOD) -- is planning to offer fast Internet to another 5.9M homes.
- The move to expand its VDSL network there means raising the bar on Deutsche Telekom's 2018 plans -- to have 80% of homes connected to fast Internet, up from 65%.
- Kabel Deutschland owner Vodafone has been focusing on broadband as it plays catch-up on bundling, and it's a frequent subject of chatter as a Liberty Global buyout partner.
Tue, Feb. 17, 7:34 PM
- Along with the release of form 13Fs comes news of purchases and sales of stakes in European mega-cableco Liberty Global (LBTYA).
- Coatue bought 1.4M shares to raise its stake in Liberty 34%, to 5.6M shares.
- Tiger Consumer sold 25% of its stake, leaving it with 1.5M shares.
- Today: LBTYA +0.7%, LBTYK +1.1%.
Fri, Feb. 13, 10:12 AM
- European cable giant Liberty Global (LBTYA) will pay €183.5M (about $209M) to a pair of companies who had raised issues with Liberty's €3B purchase of KabelBW.
- Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) and NetCologne will withdraw litigation that might have led to the unwinding of the 2012 deal. German competition regulators have OK'd the arrangement after forcing another look at the purchase in 2013.
- Liberty class A shares are up 2.3% on the news on heavy volume so far.
Thu, Feb. 12, 6:07 PM
- In its Q4 report, international cable giant Liberty Global (LBTYA, LBTYB, LBTYK) noted operating cash flow of $2.1B (up 4% Y/Y) driven by top-line contributions. Consolidated operating cash flow margin was 46.4%. Operating income slipped 47% to $273M in Q4.
- Net loss of $523M ($402M worse than the prior year) was driven by FX transaction losses, lower operating income and lower gains due to fair-value changes of investments.
- Free cash flow was $2.2B for the full year, up from $1.1B in 2013.
- At year's end, a total of 55.9M RGUs (subscription services) provided to 27.3M unique customers in a cable footprint of 51.9M homes. RGU base increased by 16% due largely to acquisition of Ziggo (6.3M RGUs) and 1.3M organic additions (351K in Q4).
- The 1.3M organic 2014 additions were 918K in Western Europe, 232K in Central/Eastern Europe and 130K in Latin America.
- RGUs breakout for the full year: 24.3M video subs, 17.3M broadband Internet subs, and 14.3M telephony subs.
- Mobile business finished the year with 4.5M mobile subscribers, up 11% Y/Y with gains spread across Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK.
- Press release
Fri, Jan. 30, 5:23 PM
Dec. 13, 2014, 8:45 AM
- American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL), Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA), and Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX) will be added to the Nasdaq 100 (NASDAQ:QQQ) ahead of the open on December 22.
- Removed will be Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE), F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV), and Maxim Integrated (NASDAQ:MXIM).
- A revision to the index methodology allows multiple share classes of index participants to be included, so Comcast Class A Special (NASDAQ:CMCSK), Twenty-First Century Fox Class B (NASDAQ:FOX), and Liberty Global Class C (NASDAQ:LBTYK) will also become part of the index.
- Source: Press Release
- ETFs: QQQ, PSQ, TQQQ, QID, SQQQ, QLD, QQEW, QQQE, QQXT
Dec. 3, 2014, 1:59 PM
- During a meeting with analysts and investors, Vodafone (VOD -1%) tried to "calm fears" it could push for a merger with Liberty Global (LBTYA -1.1%), Reuters reports after talking with some of those present.
- Analyst Nick Delfas, one of the attendees: "Vodafone is highly rational about M&A and does not need to do anything. We don't think they would look at Sky or TalkTalk either." He adds some of Liberty's assets might not appeal to Vodafone.
- Bloomberg reported last week Vodafone is exploring a merger with Liberty, as it pushes ahead with its efforts to offer triple and quad-play packages to consumers in the U.K. and other European markets.
Nov. 28, 2014, 1:07 PM
- Bloomberg reports Vodafone (VOD +2.6%) is exploring a "combination" with European cable giant Liberty Global (LBTYA +7.4%). Liberty has soared on the news.
- Liberty operates in 14 countries (12 in Europe), passes 52M homes, and claims 27M customers and trailing annual revenue of $20B. Vodafone has already acquired Spanish and German cable giants ONO and Kabel Deutschland, and has declared it wants to offer mobile/wireline bundles throughout Europe.
- Earlier: UBS upgrades Vodafone
Sep. 11, 2014, 10:18 AM
- Comcast (CMCSA +0.2%) and Liberty Global (LBTYA +3.1%) have agreed to allow users to access each others Wi-Fi networks, granting many Xfinity Internet and Liberty Global customers access to millions of new Wi-Fi access points in various countries by 2015.
- The two plan to trial the shared Wi-Fi service later in 2014 and offer it on a wide-scale in 2015.
- Comcast has more than 3M Xfinity WiFi hotspots in the U.S., while Liberty Global has more than 2.5M Wi-Fi home spots in various countries in Europe.
Aug. 21, 2014, 11:43 AM
- Hedge funds are having a difficult time of it again this year, up 1% vs. a 7.5% gain for the S&P 500, according to Goldman Sachs, which crunched the numbers on 775 funds with $1.9T in AUM.
- Nevertheless, Goldman's list of 50 stocks which "matter most" to hedge funds has outperformed the S&P 500 on a quarterly basis 66% of the time since 2001. The stocks this quarter (posted in order of the number of funds in which a name is a top-10 holding):
- ACT, AAPL, FB, AGN, AAL, GM, TWC, AIG, MSFT, HTZ, CHTR, MU, WMB, LNG, C, DAL, HCA, APC, CBS, ALLY, GOOGL, APD, NRF, BAC, EBAY, LBTYK, PCLN, VRX, BIDU, DTV, DISH, DG, EQIX, MA, WAG, ARCP, GILD, LINTA, MON, FOXA, VC, AMZN, BRK.A, BRK.B, SUNE, CMCSA, JPM, MIC, CCI, HES, LAMR.
- A special call-out to Northstar Realty (NYSE:NRF), Visteon (NYSE:VC), SunEdison (NYSE:SUNE), Macquarie Infrastructure (NYSE:MIC), and Lamar Advertising (NASDAQ:LAMR) for making the list of hedge fund hotels despite their relatively tiny market caps.
May. 5, 2014, 1:31 PM
- Two years after his well-timed pitch of Virgin Media, Coatue Capital's Philippe Laffont suggests a long of LIberty Global (LBTYA +2.7%), (LBTYK +2.2%) at Ira Sohn. A good tech stock, he says, needs a good trend, a good business model, and a management team that cares about the stock price ... The third item is hardest to find. Management at Liberty is a proven moneymaker with incredible ROE and a commitment to capital returns. By 2018, Liberty will be able to hoover up 75% of the float at current prices.
- As for business fundamentals (the trend and business model): "The consumer has not had the need to upgrade his broadband yet, and that will change very quickly with Netflix."
- Earlier Sohn conference coverage
Feb. 19, 2014, 4:22 AM
- John Malone has given the rights of first refusal to the CEOs of Discovery Communications (DISCA) and Liberty Global (LBTYA) to buy his holdings in their respective companies.
- Discovery chief David Zaslav will be able to purchase Malone's 29% voting stake in the TV broadcaster; at Liberty, Michael Fries will be able to acquire Malone's 27% voting interest.
- However, Malone has no intention of reducing his involvement in the businesses just yet, nor has he laid out any similar plans for his holding in Liberty Media (LMCA). Rather, the rights given to Zaslav and Fries represent planning for the future.
Feb. 12, 2014, 4:06 AM| Comment!
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