Liberty Global Names Ziggo CEO, Sets Tender Price

UPC Netherlands Chief Coopmans Set to Take Helm
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Six months after agreeing to acquire the remaining shares of Dutch cable operator Ziggo that it didn’t already own, Liberty Global has named UPC Netherlands CEO Baptiest Coopmans to head up the combined company and set a price for a planned tender offering for Ziggo shares.

Liberty Global agreed to buy the remaining shares of Ziggo it didn’t already own in a January in a cash and stock deal valued at about $13.7 billion.  LGI had previously owned a 28.5% interest in the company. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of the year.

In a statement Friday, Liberty Global said it has named Coopmans as CEO of the company once its deal is completed. Coopmans, who is currently managing director of LGI’s UPC Netherlands operations, replaces Rene Obermann, who will resign after the deal is closed.

LGE Holdco, a unit of Liberty Global, also has set an offering price of 35.74 euros ($48.77) per share for holders of existing Ziggo stock, a 47% premium to the 24.30 ($33.16) euro price of the shares in March 2013, when Liberty purchased its initial stake in the company. The price is a little higher than the 34.53 euros ($47.18) LGI offered in January, mainly because Liberty’s stock price has risen. As part of the deal, Ziggo shareholders would receive 0.2282 shares of LGI and 11 euros in cash for every Ziggo share they hold. LGI said the tender offer will commence on July 2 and end on Sept. 10.

Liberty had courted Ziggo for months before sealing the deal earlier this year. The combination with Liberty’s UPC Netherlands operation will create the dominant player in Dutch cable, reaching about 7 million homes.

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