Dutch Cable Group Ziggo Rejects Bid by John Malone's Liberty Global

John Malone
Matthew Staver/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ziggo, in which the European cable giant already owns a 28.5 percent stake, calls an offer to take full control "inadequate."

COLOGNE, Germany – Dutch cable group Ziggo has rejected a takeover bid from John Malone's Liberty Global, calling it "inadequate."

Ziggo is the largest cable operator in the Netherlands, reaching some 2.8 million homes, and has a market value of around $8.5 billion (€6.3 billion).

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Liberty already controls number two Dutch operator UPC (1.67 million homes) and has built up a 28.5 percent minority stake in Ziggo ahead of its takeover bid.

But in an official statement, Ziggo said Liberty's offer was “considered inadequate and there is no certainty that Ziggo will receive any revised offer.” 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).

Malone's cable group is looking to consolidate operations across Europe. Early this year, Liberty acquired Britain's Virgin Media in a stock-and-deal worth around $15.8 billion. The group controls Germany's second-largest cable operator, UnityMedia, and tried to buy number one cabler, Kabel Deutschland (KDG), but was recently outbid by U.K. mobile group Vodafone, which paid $10 billion for KDG.