In the media: Liberty Global mulls Kabel BW offer

Wed, 12/22/2010 - 7:20am
Mike Robuck

John Malone’s Liberty Global is weighing its options on whether it wants to bid for Kabel Baden-Wuerttemberg GmbH & Co., which is Germany’s third-largest cable operator.

A story this morning by Bloomberg Businessweek cited two unidentified sources on the possibility of Englewood, Colo.-based Liberty Global making a run at Kabel BW. Liberty Global is looking at combining Kabel BW with its Unitymedia GmbH cable operation in Germany but is wary of possible antitrust issues, Bloomberg reported.

Unitymedia, Germany’s second-largest cable operator, has previously expressed an interest in taking over Kabel BW.

Liberty Global has retained Goldman Sachs to help with its potential bid.

Bloomberg reported that EQT Partners has hired banks to prepare a potential sale or initial public offering of Kabel BW that could bring about 2 billion euros ($2.6 billion). Liberty Global paid about 2 billion euros and assumed 1.5 billion euros in debt to acquire Unitymedia.

Yesterday, Liberty Global announced the appointment of Lutz Schüler to the position of managing director of Unitymedia, effective Jan. 1.

Schüler will report to Diederik Karsten, managing director of European broadband operations. He is succeeding Gene Musselman, who has been serving as CEO since early 2010 and is retiring from his role as president and COO of UPC Broadband at the end of this year.

Schüler served in several senior management roles with the Telefónica O2 group since 1998, most recently leading the integration of HanseNet Telekommunikation GmbH as its CEO in Hamburg, when it was acquired by Telefónica O2 earlier this year.

From 2006 to 2010, he was managing director of marketing and sales for Telefónica O2 in Germany. Before joining Telefónica O2 in 1998, Schüler worked with VIAG Interkom GmbH and T-Mobil.

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