T-Mobile Austria completes €1.9bn UPC Austria takeover

T-Mobile Austria has completed its previously-announced €1.9 billion takeover of Liberty Global-owned cable operator UPC Austria.

Liberty Global confirmed the close of the sale today, stating that its proceeds will be approximately €900 million after accounting for the repayment of debt attributed to UPC Austria.

Liberty said it will use this cash to increase its share repurchase programme by US$500 million and to repay additional debt across “select credit pools” at the company.

“Liberty Global’s board of directors authorised this increase to the buyback program in connection with the closing of the sale,” said the company in a statement.

“The increase supplements our previously announced US$2.0 billion share repurchase program, which we intend to complete by year-end 2018. The incremental US$500 million announced today can be spent at any time over the next 12 months.”

T-Mobile Austria agreed to buy UPC Austria at the end of last year. The mobile provider will now go up against incumbent operator A1 Telekom Austria as a converged provider of broadband, mobile and fixed communications, TV and entertainment products.

The European Commission green-lit the deal earlier this month after ruling that T-Mobile and UPC Austria’s activities and assets are “largely complementary” and that the merged entity would continue to face “significant competition” from rivals like A1 Telekom Austria and Hutchison Drei Austria.

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