The European Commission has cleared Liberty Global’s acquisition of leading Dutch cable operator Ziggo, clearing the way for Ziggo shareholders to tender their shares into Liberty’s offer. The expiry date for the offer is November 4.
To secure approval, Liberty Glboal has agreed to sell its Film1 premium movie channel in the Netherlands and has committed to make commitments to provide distribution for broadcasters as well as to provide a specified minimum IP transit capacity.
To meet US regulatory requirements, Liberty Global has also agreed to reduce its minimum acceptance level condition for its offer to 65% of Ziggo’s shares, although this will only come into effect after the expiration of the offer period and will not affect the minimum acceptance condition of 80% of Ziggo’s outstanding ordinary share capital currently on offer.
“We are pleased that the European Commission has approved our pending acquisition of Ziggo, which will benefit consumers and businesses across the Netherlands given our commitment to investment and innovation in the Dutch market. We are excited to create a national cable champion, and look forward to restarting our share buyback program very soon,” said Liberty Global president and CEO Mike Fries.
“The approval from the European Commission is an important milestone in the process of combining two individual cable companies into a strong national provider for Dutch consumers. Both the Management and Supervisory Board have unanimously recommended the offer to shareholders as we believe it is in the best interests of Ziggo and its stakeholders, including shareholders,” said Andrew Sukawaty, chairman of the supervisory board of Ziggo.
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