News


Barclays acquires stake in Ziggo after failing to find buyers for shares

Barclays Bank has acquired a 14.2% stake in Dutch cable operator Ziggo after failing to find enough buyers for a block of shares for which it agreed to underwrite the sale.

Private equity owners Cinven and Warburg Pincus moved last week to sell 40 million shares in the operator, the equivalent of a 20% stake, leaving them with a 17.1% holding in the company.

The shares were made available via a private placement to investors outside the US on a Reg S basis, and to US qualified institutional buyers under an available exemption in a move described as an “accelerated bookbuild”.

However, the share sale, which was completed on March 19, left Barclays as Ziggo’s biggest shareholder after it failed to find enough buyers. Barclays guaranteed the sale at €25.05 a share.

Barclays disclosed the stake to the Dutch market regulator AFM on Friday under a rule that all shareholders must disclose stakes of above 5%. The bank had not previously been involved in sell-downs by the cable operator’s private equity owners or in Ziggo’s IPO.

At the end of last week, Ziggo announced the successful pricing of its €750 million bond offering. The proceeds of the offering will be used to repay existing debt.