Liberty Global's Belgian Unit to Acquire Mobile Firm Base for $1.4 Billion

John Malone in 2012 - H 2015
Associated Press

Telenet, part of John Malone's pan-European cable firm, will buy Belgium's third-largest mobile network operator.

John Malone's pan-European cable operator Liberty Global said Monday that its Belgian arm Telenet Group has agreed to buy Royal KPN NV's mobile-phone unit Base for $1.43 billion (1.33 billion euros).

Telenet, majority owned by Liberty Global, plans to finance the cash deal for Belgium's third-largest mobile network operator with new debt and existing cash.

Base has 3.3 million customers and revenue of $745 million (690 million euros). London-based Liberty Global owns cable and mobile-phone businesses across various European countries and has also acquired content producers, such as U.K. production firm All3Media with Discovery Communications, over the past two years.

"This acquisition will enable Telenet to compete more effectively in a mobile market with significant growth opportunities while offering a full range of fixed and mobile services to the benefit of consumers and businesses in Belgium," Liberty Global said.

Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries called the deal "a cost-effective and unique opportunity to expand Telenet's mobile and fixed business in Belgium" and said it would be "highly accretive to shareholders."

Telenet has been an active player in Belgium's mobile market since 2006 and has grown its mobile subscriber base to 895,000 as of year-end 2014.

The acquisition of Base is subject to customary closing conditions, including merger approval from the relevant competition authorities, Liberty Global said.

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