John Malone: Liberty Global 'Well Positioned' as Standalone Company
LONDON – Liberty Global chairman John Malone said he would look at takeover offers for his international cable giant, but was "happy" with the company as an independent entity after suggestions that U.K. telecom giant Vodafone could make a play for it.
Vodafone on Monday unveiled a $130 billion deal with Verizon Communications that will give the U.S. telecom firm Vodafone's 45 percent stake and thereby full ownership of Verizon Wireless. The deal is believed to be one of the three biggest in corporate history.
Verizon is paying Vodafone $58.9 billion in cash, Verizon stock and "other items."
Last week amid continuing negotiations between the telecom giants, one analyst had suggested that Vodafone could use some of the cash from the deal for acquisitions, including a possible bid for Liberty Global. After all, Vodafone recently struck a deal to buy German cable firm Kabel Deutschland.
"As a fiduciary for our shareholders, we would consider any proposals," Malone told Bloomberg News, the news service reported Monday just before the Verizon deal was announced. "However, we're happy as we are at [Liberty Global] and think well positioned to grow and create shareholder value as an independent."
Liberty Global has cable operations in 14 countries, including Germany and the U.K., and a market capitalization of around $30 billion.