Majority shareholder Liberty Global aims to take over Telenet

Majority shareholder Liberty Global aims to take over Telenet

Majority shareholder Liberty Global has plans to take over Telenet. The US company wants to bid €22 each for the roughly 41% of shares in the Belgian operator that it does not own.

This has the unanimous support of Telenet’s board of directors, the company says.

Liberty Global already owns 59.18% of Telenet’s shares. Its €22 bid is a 59% bonus on the closing price for Telenet's shares on 15 March.

Liberty plans to bid for over 42 million shares, at a total cost of nearly €930 million.

A "good opportunity" at a time of uncertainty

Telenet’s share price has fallen sharply over the past year - in March 2022, it hovered €30. Moreover, uncertainty surrounds the company: it failed to acquire Walloon operator VOO, a fourth mobile operator is about to start operations in Belgium, and a cooperation agreement to roll out fibre optics with network operator Fluvius is still waiting for the green light from the authorities.

“We believe that a bid of €22 per share offers a great opportunity for Telenet shareholders to monetise their investment with an attractive bonus,” said Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries. “We are proud of how Telenet has evolved in recent years, and we are fully committed to Belgium and all the company’s stakeholders.”

It is already the Americans’ second attempt to fully acquire Telenet. In 2012, a €35 bid failed. Some large shareholders and the independent directors thought the bid was too low at the time, after which many small investors also did not subscribe. In the end, Liberty only managed to raise its stake by 8%.

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