Liberty Global Explores Network Deal: Report

  • Billionaire John Malone’s cable group Liberty Global PLC LBTYA LBTYK is amid discussions to carve out its network assets, Bloomberg reports.
  • Liberty is exploring splitting off its telecom infrastructure like cable and fiber, leaving its remaining businesses to focus on providing mobile, internet and TV services.
  • Executives at Spain’s Telefonica SA TEF, which co-owns Liberty’s biggest asset Virgin Media O2, are ready to apply that idea to their recently merged U.K. business.
  • A Bloomberg analyst estimated that Virgin Media O2’s fixed-line network could be worth 9.8 billion pounds ($13.5 billion).
  • Liberty also co-owns VodafoneZiggo, a joint venture in Holland, Telenet Group Holding NV TLGHY in Belgium and Sunrise UPC in Switzerland. 
  • Liberty hired consultancy Accenture PLC ACN to help with the work.
  • A restructuring could help Liberty Global tap investor demand for pure digital infrastructure and raise funds for upgrades or expansion. 
  • Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries has said the group’s companies are undervalued and are also examining potential IPOs.
  • Meanwhile, it is co-investing in digital infrastructure with the launch of AtlasEdge, a data center joint venture co-owned by DigitalBridge Group Inc DBRG and Liberty Networks Germany, a fiber joint venture with InfraVia Capital Partners.
  • Price Action: LBTYK shares traded higher by 0.74% at $29.87 Friday afternoon. 
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