|Bid||19.51 x 1000|
|Ask||20.80 x 1300|
|Day's Range||20.34 - 20.96|
|52 Week Range||19.69 - 28.62|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.38|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||1.17|
|Earnings Date||Aug 05, 2019 - Aug 11, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||26.04|
(Bloomberg) -- Liberty Global Plc.’s investment arm is working with Hemisphere Media Group Inc. on a bid for Spanish-language media giant Univision Communications Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.Final offers are due in February, said one of the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public. The private equity firm Platinum Equity is also interested, as well as former Viacom Inc. chief financial officer Wade Davis, who has backing from institutional investors, the people said.No final decision has been made and Liberty Global, whose chairman is billionaire John Malone, Hemisphere and Platinum Equity could opt to not proceed with offers, the people said.“This is a small investment that Liberty Global Ventures is exploring,” Liberty Global spokesman Matt Beake said in a statement. Beake declined to comment further.Representatives for Univision, Hemisphere and Davis declined to comment. A representative for Platinum Equity didn’t respond to requests for comment.Liberty Global shares, which have slid 10% in the past year, fell 0.9% to $20.16 Wednesday in New York trading, giving the company a market value of about $12.4 billion.Miami-based Spanish-language broadcaster Hemisphere, after rising as much as 3.6%, closed down 0.4% at $13.95 in New York trading Wednesday, valuing the company at $558 million. The shares have risen 9.3% in the past year.Univision DebtBuying Univision could be a stretch for Hemisphere: Univision had $7.4 billion of debt and $260 million of stockholder equity as of Sept. 30, according to regulatory filings.The broadcaster has struggled financially since a 2007 leveraged buyout and is engaged in a ratings battle with its rival, Comcast Corp.’s Telemundo. Univision rejected a takeover offer in 2017 from Discovery Inc. that had valued the company at more than $13 billion. It also scrapped an initial public offering in 2018. Discovery is part of Malone’s investment portfolio.In July, Univision said it had engaged financial advisers to review strategic options including a sale. Grupo Televisa SAB, one of Univision’s owners, supports the sale process, one of the people familiar with the matter said. A representative for Televisa declined to comment.Gizmodo, JezebelSince being named Univision’s chief executive officer in 2018, Vince Sadusky has sought to turn the company around by refocusing on Spanish-language media. The company sold Gizmodo Media Group, which includes the websites Jezebel and Deadspin, last year.Univision has also secured distribution deals with most major pay-TV providers and has been reducing debt. Last quarter, the company’s sales increased 8.5% as a result of higher advertising and subscriber fee revenue.Churchill Capital Corp. II, serial dealmaker Michael Klein’s blank-check company, had considered bidding for Univision, Bloomberg News reported in October.Private Equity BackersUnivision is backed by the private equity firms Madison Dearborn Partners, TPG, Providence Equity Partners, Saban Capital Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners.Hemisphere’s networks include Spanish-language movie channel Cine Latino and WAPA, one of Puerto Rico’s top broadcasters, according to its website. It also owns channels targeting Central Americans, Dominicans and Puerto Ricans living in the U.S.The Wall Street Journal reported in December that Hemisphere, Platinum Equity and Davis were interested in buying Univision.(Updates with Wade Davis bid in second paragraph. An earlier version of this story was corrected to report that Liberty Global is working with Hemisphere, not Liberty Media.)To contact the reporters on this story: Gerry Smith in New York at email@example.com;Liana Baker in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org;Nabila Ahmed in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Liana Baker at email@example.com, Michael Hytha, Matthew MonksFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
A booming tech industry could in time help revitalise subdued IPO markets in both the UK and Europe. Fintechs such as Revolut, Monzo and TransferWise have attracted plenty of funds in the private market. Tullow Oil piled disappointment on disappointment when it slashed production forecasts, axed its chief executive and scrapped its dividend in December.
Telecoms group Liberty Global has appointed Severina Pascu as chief financial officer and deputy chief executive of Virgin Media, as part of an overhaul of the UK broadband company it bought in 2013. A former investment banker and Romanian national, Ms Pascu has risen through the ranks of Liberty Global, becoming chief executive of its Swiss cable business UPC in 2018.
Liberty Global plc ("Liberty Global") (NASDAQ: LBTYA, LBTYB and LBTYK), one of the world’s leading converged video, broadband and communications companies, announced that Severina Pascu will join Virgin Media as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) effective February 1, 2020. Ms. Pascu is currently CEO of Liberty Global’s Swiss operations, UPC Switzerland, and will be succeeded in that role by Baptiest Coopmans, Senior Vice President Operations for Liberty Global and a key executive with the company for the past seven years.
ZURICH/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Sunrise Communications chief executive Olaf Swantee has quit and Chairman Peter Kurer said he will not run for re-election after a shareholder uprising blocked the group's $6.3 billion bid for Liberty Global's Swiss cable unit. Sunrise said its Chief Financial Officer Andre Krause, a German national, will immediately succeed Swantee as the new CEO, a step which was welcomed by Freenet , the telecom firm's largest shareholder. Freenet, a German telecommunications company which holds a 24.56% Sunrise stake, was a vocal opponent of the UPC deal.
ZURICH/FRANKFURT, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Sunrise Communications chief executive Olaf Swantee has quit and Chairman Peter Kurer said he will not run for re-election after a shareholder uprising blocked the group's $6.3 billion bid for Liberty Global's Swiss cable unit. Sunrise said its Chief Financial Officer Andre Krause, a German national, will immediately succeed Swantee as the new CEO, a step which was welcomed by Freenet, the telecom firm's largest shareholder. Freenet, a German telecommunications company which holds a 24.56% Sunrise stake, was a vocal opponent of the UPC deal.
It has been a fantastic year for equity investors as Donald Trump pressured Federal Reserve to reduce interest rates and finalized the first leg of a trade deal with China. If you were a passive index fund investor, you had seen gains of 31% in your equity portfolio in 2019. However, if you were an […]
Liberty Global plc ("Liberty Global" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: LBTYA, LBTYB and LBTYK) announced that it has terminated discussions regarding the combination of UPC Switzerland and Sunrise Communications.
Liberty Global plc ("Liberty Global" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: LBTYA, LBTYB and LBTYK) today announced plans to release its full-year 2019 results on Thursday, February 13, 2020 after Nasdaq market close. You are invited to participate in its Investor Call, which will begin the following day at 09:00 a.m. (Eastern Time) on Friday, February 14, 2020. During the call, management will discuss the Company’s results, and may provide other forward-looking information. Please dial in using the information provided below at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the call.
While the market driven by short-term sentiment influenced by the accomodative interest rate environment in the US, increasing oil prices and deteriorating expectations towards the resolution of the trade war with China, many smart money investors kept their cautious approach regarding the current bull run in the third quarter and hedging or reducing many of […]
The Netherlands aims to rake in at least 900 million euros ($992 million) from its first auction of bandwidth for 5G networks, it said on Thursday, adding some equipment suppliers could be banned from the new networks if they raise security concerns. European governments are grappling with how to treat Huawei Technologies Co Ltd after the United States alleged the Chinese telecoms supplier's equipment could be exploited by Beijing for spying. Huawei strongly denies the allegations.
The Netherlands unveiled plans on Thursday to auction bandwidth for 5G networks, saying some telecoms suppliers could be banned if they had close ties to foreign governments or intelligence agencies involved in spying. Secretary of State Mona Keijzer said in a statement that the government's first auction of the 700, 1400, and 2100Mhz ranges would take place by June 30 with a floor of 900 million euros ($992 million). An auction of the 3.5Mhz range most commonly associated with 5G is being delayed as the Dutch government moves a ground satellite system that would interfere with it to a new location.
We are still in an overall bull market and many stocks that smart money investors were piling into surged through the end of November. Among them, Facebook and Microsoft ranked among the top 3 picks and these stocks gained 54% and 51% respectively. Hedge funds' top 3 stock picks returned 41.7% this year and beat […]
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Telefonica SA’s share price needs to double to get back to its 2015 value. Chief Executive Officer Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete launched a new strategy on Wednesday with a long letter full of the latest corporate buzzwords and setting out the need for radical change and bold vision. The five-point plan that came at the end showed that lofty language can’t hide what’s doable in reality.The Spanish telecoms operator has been a terrible performer in a terribly performing sector. It has too much debt and too little growth. Worse, there’s a mismatch between its largely dollar- and euro-denominated borrowings and revenues from a big business in Latin America. Financial leverage amplifies its woes. What keeps investors hanging on? A chunky dividend and a yield of 6%.Pallete imagines a Telefonica that makes “our world more human, by connecting lives in a sustainable way.” He cites Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s apercu that “the essential is invisible to the eyes” in support of a plan to take Telefonica back to its essence, perhaps not quite what the French writer had in mind.But such a wish-driven strategy runs up against the problem that you can’t make a company with an enterprise value of 96 billion euros ($105 billion) — including $57 billion of net debt — something different just by thinking it so.The centerpiece of the new plan is that Latin America, except Brazil, becomes non-core. Telefonica has harvested the available growth from this market, and it can’t afford to tie up capital in a business whose contribution is weak and volatile. Selling these assets at a price above the group’s 3.5 times net debt-to-Ebitda ratio would bring down leverage, and that’s a lower multiple than recent transactions in the region, as analysts at UBS Group AG note.Even asset sales at bad prices would reduce the currency mismatch problem regardless of whether they dented leverage. The snag is that buyers won’t be queuing up. For now, this piece of the plan merely show investors the direction of travel.Now to growth. Telefonica is creating two new silos made up of its disparate technology businesses and its infrastructure assets. This doesn’t create immediate value but it’s sound management: People perform better when they operate within simple structures with clear goals.Pallete has been three years in the job and 20 with the company. Would a new CEO from outside have done anything different, especially with regards the dividend? This has been held for the last three years after Pallete cut it in 2016. But the shares yield more than all Telefonica’s large peers bar BT Group Plc. A further trim would have shown stronger commitment to paying down debt and it’s the only deleveraging mechanism the company controls.The other unresolved issue is Britain, where Telefonica owns the O2 mobile operator. A sale to Liberty Global Plc’s Virgin Media might substantially reduce leverage. But the Spanish company says the U.K. is a core market; it might prefer to be a buyer of Virgin. It’s hard to see how it could justify such a deal right now.Telefonica is right to be diverting capital to markets closer to home where it can really make a difference as the demand for data explodes. Its problem however is not a lack a vision, but an excess of debt.To contact the author of this story: Chris Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Hughes is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals. He previously worked for Reuters Breakingviews, as well as the Financial Times and the Independent newspaper.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- There are plenty of reasons Deutsche Telekom AG and Vodafone Group Plc make for uneasy bedfellows. But if Europe’s biggest telecommunications firms can overcome their differences, they would benefit from forging a strong alliance for one of their biggest cost centers: towers.The structures on which mobile operators install their antennas have generated a flurry of dealmaking as valuations soar and European carriers sense an opportunity to reduce debt and costs. By some estimates, towers account for a third of total capital expenditures. Since July, more than $8 billion of deals have been announced in Europe.Sexy they are not. Yet towers are critical vertebrae for wireless networks, and are ever more in demand with the advent of 5G networks. The new technology, which promises to transmit bigger gobs of data at faster speeds, will depend on antennas with a shorter range than previous generations because of the spectrum of bandwidth being used. That means more towers will be needed to post more antennas at closer intervals to power a network, making it increasingly attractive for operators to share them.With that in mind, Vodafone is already separating out its towers arm. An umbrella company will hold the stakes in its U.K. joint venture with the local unit of Madrid-based Telefonica SA, as well as a combination in Italy with Telecom Italia SpA’s Inwit subsidiary, pending regulatory approval. Options are being evaluated for Vodafone’s similar assets across the rest of Europe. Germany is at the top of the list.Just last week, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefonica agreed to work together to build as many as 6,000 mobile sites in a bid to cut costs. They could do more, and merging Vodafone’s towers with those of Deutsche Telekom, the larger rival, would make the most sense for both parties. The former German national carrier has intimated it’s open to “possible scenarios,” especially given the German government’s ambitious target of having 98% of German homes, every highway and all federal roads equipped with download speeds of 100 megabits per second by the end of 2022.The timing isn’t perfect. The two firms’ rivalry is intensifying in Germany after the British firm agreed to buy Liberty Global Plc’s local cable assets for 19 billion euros ($16.5 billion). In trying to stymie the deal, Deutsche Telekom Chief Executive Officer Tim Hoettges questioned the implications that foreign ownership of major television assets would have for German democracy.But a towers tie-up could yield three major benefits: It would reduce debt, underpin an improved sum-of-the-parts valuation, and cut exposure to major capital expenditures over the next decade. Hoettges teased the idea at a conference in Barcelona last week, saying, “I’m ready for an IPO, I’m ready for a partnership — if we find one.”Mimicking Vodafone’s Italian deal would be sensible. There, Vodafone had the more valuable assets, so it received a 2.1 billion-euro cash payment and a 37.5% stake in the firm, Inwit. Telecom Italia has a holding of the same size, with the remaining 30% publicly traded.In Germany, Deutsche Telekom would expect to receive the cash payment. It has 9,000 towers, and Vodafone just 4,000. And since towers companies can sustain higher levels of debt, that money needn’t come from Vodafone itself. The new firm’s higher leverage capacity might be able to fund the deal.With the cash, Deutsche Telekom could reduce its net debt, which is set to jump significantly when U.S. subsidiary T-Mobile U.S. Inc. seals the $58 billion acquisition of Sprint Corp., expected early next year. That will push debt above Deutsche Telekom’s target ratio, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Aidan Cheslin estimates.The value of the new towers company could approach 15 billion euros, based on earnings estimates and peer valuations. By selling a minority stake to the public market, Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom would be able to raise more capital and highlight value of the towers businessThe main reason not to merge the operations — being able to brag your network is better than someone else’s — is meanwhile eroding, given the network-sharing agreement reached last week.The biggest hurdle to a deal might be antitrust concerns. But other deals that seemed a gamble — such as Deutsche Telekom merging its Dutch business with the that of Swedish rival Tele2 AB — have been cleared. The pace of towers combinations is accelerating. France’s Orange SA has hinted it’s also evaluating its infrastructure assets, and will reveal more details Dec. 4. Europe’s two biggest telecoms giants should do so too, and together.To contact the author of this story: Alex Webb at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Sign up to our Brexit Bulletin, follow us @Brexit and subscribe to our podcast.Britain’s Labour party pledged to offer all consumers free fiber broadband within a decade by nationalizing phone carrier BT Group Plc’s Openreach unit at a cost of 20 billion pounds ($26 billion).BT shareholders would get newly-issued government bonds in return for their shares, Labour’s shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, said in a speech in Lancaster, England on Friday. Shares of BT fell as much as 3.7%.It’s the biggest new pledge of the election campaign from Labour, which already has plans to nationalize the postal service, the railways and water and energy utilities. The broadband effort would be financed in part with taxes on multinational companies such as Amazon.com Inc., Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google. While the proposals may win over some voters, Labour may not be in a position to implement them. It has an average of 29% support in recent polls, trailing the Conservatives at 40%.“A Labour government will make broadband free for everybody,” party leader Jeremy Corbyn said at the campaign event at Lancaster University. “This is core infrastructure for the 21st century. It’s too important to be left to the corporations.”McDonnell said the new broadband pledge would be funded by asking “tech giants like Google and Facebook to pay a bit more” in proportion to their activities in the U.K. “So if a multinational has 10% of its sales, workforce, and operations in the U.K., they’re asked to pay tax on 10% of their global profits,” McDonnell said.While Labour puts the cost of the plan at about 20 billion pounds, BT’s Chief Executive Officer Philip Jansen said the proposal would cost almost five times that amount.BT shares were down 1.6% as of 12:29 p.m. in London, suggesting shareholders aren’t too worried about the nationalization risk. That gives the company a market value of about 19 billion pounds.“These are very very ambitious ideas,” Jansen said Friday in an interview on BBC Radio 4. “The Conservative Party have their own ambitious ideas for full fiber for everybody by 2025.”“How we do it is not straightforward, it needs funding,” Jansen said, putting the cost of such a roll-out over eight years at “not short of 100 billion pounds.”Lower Value?BT has been working to speed up its own full-fiber build and Jansen said the company’s shares have fallen on the recognition that “we’re going to be investing very very heavily.” Shareholders “are nursing massive losses on their investment” in BT if they’d bought it a few years ago, he said.Investors could get burned, as Openreach’s business would likely be undervalued in an expropriation, New Street analyst James Ratzer said in an email, adding that nationalization “rarely works well for shareholders.” Analysts at Jefferies put Openreach’s value at 13.5 billion pounds, flagging annual costs for operations and to service its high pension deficit.Labour’s McDonnell said the party has taken advice from lawyers to ensure its broadband plan fits within European Union state aid rules in case the U.K. is still in the bloc when the plans are carried out.Britain LaggingCorbyn’s plan is meant to solve a connectivity gap: Britain lags far behind other European nations when it comes to full-fiber coverage, which allows for gigabit-per-second download speeds. About 8% of the country is connected -- just under 2.5 million properties, according to a September report by communications regulator Ofcom. That compares with 63% for Spain and 86% for Portugal.As policymakers and regulators have been creating conditions to spur more competition with BT, rivals including Liberty Global Plc’s Virgin Media and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.-backed CityFibre have been jumping in to commit billions of pounds to infrastructure plans.“Those plans risk being shelved overnight,” Matthew Howett, an analyst at Assembly, said in an email. “This is a spectacularly bad take by the Labour Party.”The Labour announcement caused TalkTalk Telecom Group Plc to pause talks to sell a fiber project as the industry seeks clarity.Analysts are skeptical the government could roll out fiber more effectively than private industry and Howett pointed to delays and budget overruns from a state-led effort in Australia.It’s not the first time radical ideas have been proposed for BT’s Openreach unit, a national network of copper wire and fiber-optic cable that communication providers including BT, Comcast Corp.’s Sky and Vodafone Group Plc tap into to provide home internet to customers.BT was forced to legally separate the division from the rest of the company in recent years over concerns about competition, and that it wasn’t investing fast enough to roll out fiber, and some investors have suggested the company should fully spin it out into an independent, listed business to unlock value.‘Fantasy’ PlanNicky Morgan, the Conservative cabinet minister with responsibility for digital services, dismissed Corbyn’s plan in a statement as a “fantasy” that “would cost hardworking taxpayers tens of billions” of pounds.The Conservative Party’s own proposal for full-fiber broadband across the U.K. by 2025 -- eight years ahead of a previous government goal -- has raised eyebrows across the telecom industry, as some executives and analysts expressed skepticism about whether it’s doable, whether there’s consumer demand for the ultrafast internet service and how companies would make money.‘A Disaster’TechUK, the industry’s main trade body, called Labour’s plan “a disaster” for the telecom sector. “Renationalization would immediately halt the investment being driven not just by BT but the growing number of new and innovative companies that compete with BT,” said Chief Executive Officer Julian David.The announcement will provide more fodder for the arguments by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives that a Labour government risks plunging the country into an economic crisis. Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid over the weekend released analysis estimating Labour would raise spending by 1.2 trillion pounds over five years. McDonnell at the time called it “fake news.”McDonnell said Parliament would set the value of Openreach when it’s taken into public ownership and that shareholders would be compensated with government bonds.Under Labour’s plan, the roll-out would begin in areas with the worst broadband access, including rural communities, followed by towns and then by areas that are currently well-served by fast broadband.According to elections expert John Curtice, Corbyn’s chances of forming a majority government are “as close to zero” as it’s possible to get. The election is still hard to predict, and it is possible that Labour could yet win power, either on its own or with the support of smaller parties.(Updates with Corbyn remarks in fourth paragraph, McDonnell in fifth.)\--With assistance from Jennifer Ryan and Kit Rees.To contact the reporters on this story: Alex Morales in London at firstname.lastname@example.org;Thomas Seal in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Tim Ross at email@example.com, Frank ConnellyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Britain's opposition Labour Party plans to nationalise BT's broadband network to provide free internet for all if it wins power, making a radical election pledge to roll back 35 years of private ownership that caught both the company and its shareholders by surprise. Labour's proposed overhaul of the telecoms infrastructure, an addition to its already broad nationalisation plan, would be paid for by raising taxes on tech firms such as Alphabet's Google, Amazon and Facebook and using its Green Transformation fund. The announcement by Labour, which is currently lagging Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservatives in opinion polls ahead of the Dec. 12 election, sent BT's shares down as much as 3.7%, wiping nearly half a billion pounds off its market value.
The failed takeover of Liberty Global's Swiss unit UPC by Sunrise made industrial sense and would still be worth trying, Liberty Chief Financial Officer Charlie Bracken said on Wednesday. "If you look at the industrial logic of the deal it's very compelling," Bracken told the Morgan Stanley European TMT Conference in Barcelona, adding that he saw "a lot of reasons to monetise" the synergies it promised. Bracken also said that Liberty would look opportunistically at listing its local units to crystallise the value of their cash flows.
Sunrise Communications said on Wednesday it faces a hit of up to 125 million Swiss francs ($125 million) from its failed bid to buy Liberty Global's Swiss unit, as the U.S. cable company held out hopes a deal could be revived. Sunrise's costs from the failed 6.3 billion franc deal, halted after opposition from the Swiss telecommunication company's biggest shareholder, include a 50 million franc break-up fee to Liberty Global, as well as 19 million francs in underwriting fees and already-incurred integration costs of 24 million francs. Last month, Sunrise scrapped its takeover of Liberty's UPC Switzerland business when German firm Freenet, which holds 25% of the Swiss telecommunications group, balked on concerns the move was too expensive.