Dutch Cable Group Ziggo Eyed by John Malone Posts Higher Earnings
COLOGNE, Germany – Leading Dutch cable operator Ziggo, which just this week rejected a takeover bid by John Malone's Liberty Global, posted strong third quarter results, as growth in broadband Internet operators lifted both revenue and net profit.
Ziggo posted a 3 percent increase in Q3 revenues to $532 million (€391.1 million), while net profit leapt 19.4 percent to $118 million (€86.5 million). Operating profits slipped slightly, dropping 3.6 percent to $300 million (€220 million), largely due to increased commercial investments aimed at fending off competitor KPN.
Ziggo cables pass a total of 4.24 million Dutch homes and the company, which has a market value of around $8.5 billion, has some 2.8 million subscribers.
Liberty, which already controls number two Dutch operator UPC, has built up a 28.5 percent minority stake in Ziggo. It made a bid for a full takeover but, this week, Ziggo said Liberty's offer was “inadequate." Financial details of the bid were not disclosed, but at current prices, a takeover would have cost Liberty at least $6 billion (€4.5 billion).
Ziggo reiterated its year-end forecast predicting 1 percent underlying revenue growth an operating profits (EBIDTA) of $1.2 billion (€880 million).
Shares in Ziggo climbed after quarterly numbers were released, increasing some 1.55 percent to $42 (€30.87) in early afternoon trading.