Liberty Global eyes Tele Columbus in potential German move

Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries

Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries

Liberty Global is prepared to make more significant M&A deals and is looking at the German market, and cable operator Tele Columbus in particular, according to CEO Mike Fries.

In an interview with German stockmarket newspaper Börsen-Zeitung, Fries said an acquisition in German cable market could be interesting for Liberty, and signalled interest in number three operator Tele Columbus, which is reportedly for sale.

However, he conceded that questions remained over price and whether the German competition office, the Bundeskartellamt, would allow further consolidation in the German market, following Vodafone’s €7.7 billion agreed takeover of Kabel Deutschland last year.

Fries also said that the chances of Liberty Global selling its Unitymedia telco subsidiary to Vodafone were “unlikely” and said that Germany was the most important market in Europe.

Earlier this month, Reuters reported that Tele Columbus is considering an IPO and had sought banks to pitch to take the firm public in the second half of this year.

Kabel Deutschland reportedly dropped a planned €618 million takeover of Tele Columbus last year after Germany’s competition watchdog blocked the move.