Dutch cable company Ziggo has rejected a takeover bid from Liberty Global as inadequate.
Liberty Global chairman John Malone has been agitating long and hard for global consolidation of the cable industry. Liberty Global began investing in Ziggo earlier this year, buying 28.5 percent of the Dutch company’s stock. Liberty Global bought Virgin Media earlier this year, and bid on Kabel Deutschland, which accepted an offer from Vodaphone instead. Liberty Media, also chaired by Malone, purchased a quarter of Charter Communications.
Rumors were swirling that Liberty Global was involved in a full takeover attempt of Ziggo, but the first confirmation was a terse statement that Ziggo said it was making specifically in response to the speculation. “The potential offer was considered inadequate and there is no certainty that Ziggo will receive any revised offer. Further announcements will be made if and when relevant.”
German weekly Manager Magazin reported that if it completes the takeover, Liberty Global plans to merge Ziggo with its existing UPC operations in the country and Belgian firm Telenet in which it already has a majority stake.
In March, when Liberty Global first began investing in Ziggo, Ziggo’s stock was trading in the 24- to 27 Euro range. The value of the stock has trended up since then, occasionally surpassing 31 Euros in recent months. After a brief dip in value, news of the takeover attempt sent the stock back up above 31 Euros.