Liberty Global announced this morning that it had made its formal bid on Ziggo and that Baptiest Coopmans will be Ziggo’s new CEO once the deal is done.
Liberty also said that Bert Groenewegen would continue as Ziggo’s CFO. Last year Coopmans was named as MD of Liberty Global-owned UPC Netherlands. Coopmans won’t assume his new position until after the deal closes, which could take place later this year.
After buying a 28.5 percent stake in Ziggo in March of last year, John Malone’s Liberty Global had been in hot pursuit of the rest of Netherlands-based Ziggo since August. In October, Ziggo’s board and shareholders rebuffed Liberty Global’s offer, but Liberty Global returned with another bid in December.
The final deal was valued at $7 billion when it was first announced in January. Liberty, Global said today it was now offering 35.74 Euros for each Ziggo share, higher than the original 34.53 Euros because a portion of the offer was in Liberty shares, which have risen in value. The offer begins. July 2 and ends Sept. 10 unless its extended.
The offer was unanimously recommended by Ziggo’s supervisory and management boards. Liberty’s offer, which is in the process of garnering regulatory approvals, will be voted on by Ziggo shareholders on Aug. 26.
Subscribers in Ziggo’s footprint will most likely see immediate increases in their data speeds once the deal is done. Speaking on a panel during the SCTE Rocky Mountain Chapter’s symposium earlier this month, Liberty Global vice president of technology Bill Warga said LG’s strategy was to immediately boost DOCSIS speeds whenever it buys another cable operator. Warga said increasing the speeds across Ziggo’s footprint was one of Liberty Global’s top engineering priorities this year, along with building up systems across its Virgin Media footprint and connecting it to the company’s European backbone. Last year Liberty Global snapped up Virgin Media for $24 billion.