|Bid||24.42 x 800|
|Ask||24.43 x 1000|
|Day's Range||24.36 - 24.69|
|52 Week Range||19.24 - 27.84|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.33|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||17.39|
|Earnings Date||Nov 6, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||32.50|
Hirschburg is one of the stranger assets to be found on Vodafone’s books. The UK telecoms company inherited the gothic 19th-century palace as part of its blockbuster £112bn acquisition of Germany’s Mannesmann at the turn of the millennium. of Unitymedia, the German cable network it bought from Liberty Global alongside three smaller assets in eastern Europe.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Did John Malone just blink in an M&A deal? The cable tycoon’s Liberty Global Plc has just agreed to help finance Sunrise Communications Group AG’s 6.3 billion Swiss francs ($6.3 billion) purchase of Liberty’s business in Switzerland. It’s a neat way of lending a helping hand to a struggling buyer without being seen to soften the terms of the deal itself. It still may not be enough to get the transaction done.Sunrise’s purchase of Malone’s UPC Switzerland has been on the ropes for months. The Swiss buyer’s biggest shareholder, German telecoms operator Freenet AG, and a couple of investment funds are opposed. Sunrise needs to do a 2.8 billion Swiss franc rights offer to pay for the deal, which in turn depends on majority shareholder support. Freenet’s opposition is unhelpful enough given its 25% stake. Last week, the shareholder advisory service ISS also recommended that investors withhold their support.That has rattled Liberty. Malone’s group now says it will put as much as 500 million Swiss francs into the rights offer if Sunrise’s own investors (most likely Freenet) don't stump up. This could be seen as a vote of confidence in the enlarged Sunrise from the American billionaire, which might make shareholders feel more comfortable about voting in favor of the fundraising. But the move could be seen equally as the price Liberty is willing to pay to get a deal over the line without amending the headline terms, for example by cutting the price or taking stock instead of cash.This deal isn’t cheap but it makes sense for Sunrise. The buyer reckons UPC is worth 5.1 billion Swiss francs on a standalone basis, and it values the cost savings and revenue gains of a deal at some 3.1 billion francs. That total value is worth nearly 2 billion francs more than the price being paid.Sure, UPC is probably worth less than Sunrise reckons. The same goes for those savings. Say UPC is more plausibly worth about 4.6 billion euros, based on it maybe making 600 million francs of Ebitda this year and commanding a multiple just shy of where Sunrise trades. And say you cut those anticipated savings by 25% and they’re worth 2.3 billion francs. On this view, the total value to Sunrise shareholders would still exceed the price paid, plus they would keep all the upside if the financial benefits of a deal turned out better than hoped.Sunrise shareholders could kill the deal in the hope of striking a better transaction with Liberty at a later date — maybe involving less cash, more stock and a cheaper price. After all, it’s now clear that Malone is fine with taking Sunrise shares. But Liberty is flush with cash at present from selling assets to Vodafone Group Plc. It can afford to spend some of that in defense of its interests. There's a big leap from that to believing Malone should, let alone will, swallow worse terms another day.To contact the author of this story: Chris Hughes at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis 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.
Freenet still opposes Sunrise's 6.3 billion Swiss franc ($6.32 billion) deal to buy Liberty Global's Swiss business, despite a new offer from the American seller to take part in the acquisition. Liberty Global, set up by U.S. cable pioneer John Malone, said on Monday it has offered to buy up to 500 million Swiss francs in newly created Sunrise shares to help finance the purchase.
Liberty Global has offered a 500 million Swiss franc ($501.45 million) sweetener to rescue the sale of its Swiss cable and TV business to Sunrise Communications but a key Sunrise shareholder said it remained opposed to the deal. Some Sunrise investors say the 6.3 billion franc price tag for cable operator UPC is too expensive.
KKR has entered the UK telecoms market, acquiring a majority stake in full-fibre “altnet” company Hyperoptic to join broadband battle against BT and Virgin Media. The US private equity fund bought the stake from Newlight Partners, a buyout firm spun out of George Soros’s family office last year that has backed Hyperoptic since 2013, and Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund that bought into the business less than a year ago. No value was put on the deal but one person with direct knowledge of the investment said Hyperoptic would be valued at about £500m.
Liberty Global has offered a 500 million Swiss franc ($501.45 million) sweetener to rescue the sale of its Swiss cable and TV business to Sunrise Communications but a key Sunrise shareholder said it remained opposed to the deal. Some Sunrise investors say the 6.3 billion franc price tag for cable operator UPC is too expensive. Liberty Global, set up by U.S. cable pioneer John Malone, said on Monday it had offered to buy up to 500 million Swiss francs in newly created Sunrise shares as a way of easing through the capital hike needed to clinch the sale.
Liberty Global plc (“Liberty Global”) (NASDAQ: LBTYA, LBTYB and LBTYK) and Sunrise Communications AG (“Sunrise”) today announced an agreement whereby Liberty Global will support Sunrise’s rights offering related to the acquisition of UPC Switzerland1. Liberty Global has agreed to support the Sunrise rights offering up to an aggregate amount of CHF 500 million2 through the purchase of tradeable subscription rights at market prices and the subsequent purchase of newly issued shares, if any, in the rights offering.
At Insider Monkey we track the activity of some of the best-performing hedge funds like Appaloosa Management, Baupost, and Tiger Global because we determined that some of the stocks that they are collectively bullish on can help us generate returns above the broader indices. Out of thousands of stocks that hedge funds invest in, small-caps […]
The boss of Britain's biggest telecoms provider BT on Wednesday set out plans to improve the company's relationship with customers with new superfast services, more technical support and a return of its brand to the high street. In one of the first moves since taking over in February, Philip Jansen outlined the group's aims to rebuild BT's reputation after clashes with the regulator, government and customers who complained about poor service. Under the plan, BT will create a team of experts to help customers in the home and small businesses, speed up the return of its customer support teams to the UK and Ireland, and bring BT back to the high street by putting its products and staff into its EE mobile store network.
(Bloomberg) -- Liberty Global Plc Chairman John Malone’s latest move to reshape his European interests is hanging in the balance.The sale of his Swiss business to Sunrise Communications Group AG for 6.3 billion Swiss francs ($6.4 billion) is proving a tough sell for the buyer’s shareholders and the biggest of those, Freenet AG, on Monday rejected management’s latest move to win them over.Failure would leave the dealmaking billionaire Malone saddled with an underperforming continental business when he’s trying to focus on the U.K., where local unit Virgin Media is in a costly battle for broadband users with rival BT Group Plc. Malone already sold a chunk of Liberty Global’s continental European businesses to Vodafone Group Plc and may be waiting for proceeds from the Swiss deal before deciding on his next big move.“If it fails, then he’s got a bit of a problem. They have to turn Switzerland around,” said Steve Malcolm, an analyst at Redburn.Sunrise said it was shifting more of the burden for financing the purchase of Liberty Global’s UPC Switzerland unit from shareholders to bondholders. It now aims to raise 2.8 billion francs in a rights issue, 1.3 billion less than previously planned. Sunrise debt is rated below investment grade by Moody’s Investors Service.German mobile provider Freenet, which owns around a quarter of the Swiss company’s stock, quickly rejected the move. Freenet has said the price Sunrise management agreed to pay is too high given pressures in the cable industry and UPC Switzerland’s operating performance.“If this is the only change, it will not impact our decision on voting against the deal,” Freenet said in an emailed statement Friday anticipating the changed financing terms. Company spokeswoman Nadine Mette said on Monday that its position hasn’t changed.Sunrise has said Freenet’s concerns are unjustified and called the shareholder’s intervention “self-serving.”“Today’s enhancements to the initially proposed terms reflect the feedback from our shareholders,” Sunrise Chief Executive Officer Olaf Swantee said in a statement on Monday. “We are now looking forward to moving swiftly towards completion of the transaction.”Sunrise shares were down 3% as of 12:41 p.m. in Zurich.Close VoteAnalysts were uncertain whether the reduced rights issue would be enough to clinch the Sunrise shareholder vote on Oct. 23. The chance of the deal succeeding is now 49% versus 40% previously, Mainfirst analyst Stephane Beyazian wrote in a note. Redburn analyst Malcolm said: “With Freenet voting against it, you need a very high proportion to vote with” Sunrise for the deal to go through. UPC Switzerland has been Liberty Global’s worst-performing unit and a tie-up with Sunrise has long been discussed. Four Swiss carriers offering wireless, internet and TV have been locked in an aggressive discounting war, offering gifts to each other’s customers to lure them out of their existing contracts.To help further convince its investors to vote for the deal, Sunrise said Monday it would bring merger benefits worth 3.1 billion francs. It also proposed an increased dividend amount of between 350 million and 370 million francs for full-year 2019, based on the higher number of shares after the rights issue. “The fact that the company is looking for a replacement of a part of the capital increase with higher debts was received very positively,” Sunrise said. Freenet CEO Christoph Vilanek said the company had strengthened its credit lines to take part in the capital increase if the deal does get approved. By doing so, Freenet can “defend” its position as Sunrise’s largest shareholder, he told Swiss financial website The Market. (Updates with Freenet committing to rights issue at end.)\--With assistance from Stefan Nicola and Albertina Torsoli.To contact the reporters on this story: Leonard Kehnscherper in Zurich at email@example.com;Thomas Seal in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Thomas Pfeiffer at email@example.com, Jennifer RyanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
LONDON, United Kingdom-- -- Liberty Global operating companies launch GigaCities across Switzerland, Belgium and the UK Millions of households and businesses across Europe now have access to next-generation Gigabit broadband speeds The rollout of “GigaCities” across Europe by the leading converged video, broadband and communications company, Liberty Global, is accelerating with the launch of Gigabit ...
Sunrise Communications slashed the size of a rights offer but this failed to secure the support of a major shareholder for its 6.3 billion Swiss franc ($6.35 billion) purchase of Liberty Global's Swiss UPC unit. Germany's Freenet, which owns 25% of the Swiss telecoms group, pledged on Monday to keep up its fight against the transaction, despite Sunrise's move to cut its planned rights issue to 2.8 billion francs from 4.1 billion previously.
Sunrise Communications is cutting its proposed rights issue to 2.8 billion Swiss francs ($2.83 billion) from 4.1 billion francs to pay for its acquisition of Liberty Global's Swiss unit UPC as it seeks to convince shareholders to back the deal. Sunrise announced the changes on Monday amid fierce opposition by Germany's Freenet, which owns about a quarter of the Swiss company and has sought to rally other foes ahead of a planned Oct. 23 extraordinary shareholders meeting.
(Bloomberg) -- U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to announce as much as 5 billion pounds ($6.2 billion) in government funding for faster telecom networks, according to a person familiar with the matter.The spending could be revealed at the ruling Conservative Party’s conference in Manchester this week, and would subsidize infrastructure including fiber optic connections to improve broadband in remote parts of Britain, said an official who declined to be identified as the plans are still confidential.The money would be put towards delivering a key pledge from Johnson’s recent campaign to lead the Conservative Party, many of whose voters live in rural areas. He promised to accelerate his predecessor’s ambition to hook up every property in the country to fiber optic broadband, aiming for 2025, eight years earlier than the previous goal.The Sunday Telegraph newspaper first reported the latest funding. Earlier this month Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan convened broadband executives to work out details, with bosses attending from former state monopoly BT Group Plc, Liberty Global Plc’s Virgin Media, and alternative networks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc.-owned CityFibre Ltd.Gaps in the plans include how to avoid a wasteful building war, in which companies chase densely-populated, profitable areas and leave sparser regions behind. About a 10th of Britain’s homes and businesses could need state support because connecting them is not commercially viable, according to a government review published last year.The government’s stated goal of fiber optic connections for the whole country has been moderated and officials now talk about “gigabit-capable” connections, a shift that allows for technologies like wireless 5G and Virgin Media’s coaxial cable. The U.K. lags European neighbors in full fiber, which reaches only 8% of British premises compared to about 90% of homes in Portugal and 70% in SpainTo contact the reporters on this story: Thomas Seal in London at firstname.lastname@example.org;Alex Morales in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Thomas Pfeiffer at firstname.lastname@example.org, Marion Dakers, Sara MarleyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Sunrise Communications could slash the size of its planned 4.1 billion Swiss franc ($4.13 billion) rights issue to finance its purchase of Liberty Global's Swiss UPC business, four people close to the situation told Reuters. The Swiss group has been discussing with investors how it could reduce the amount of new equity it would issue to fund the 6.3 billion franc deal, thus breaking down resistance to the transaction by its biggest shareholder, Freenet. The preferred version would reduce the equity part to around 3 billion francs or even less, the people said.
The Swiss anti-trust authority has approved Sunrise Communications' 6.3 billion Swiss franc ($6.36 billion) takeover of Liberty Global's UPC business, setting up a showdown between the telecoms company and foes of the deal. Sunrise -- locked in a feud with its largest investor, Germany's Freenet, which opposes the deal -- now plans an extraordinary shareholders meeting on Oct. 23 to vote on a capital increase needed to fund the takeover. Freenet, which owns a quarter of Sunrise, has been joined by some other investors in fighting the transaction on grounds the price is too high, a proposed 4.1 billion franc capital increase would dilute their holdings and the Swiss company would wind up with all the risks while allowing Liberty Global a lucrative and unfettered exit.
(Bloomberg) -- Boris Johnson promised to bring fiber broadband to every U.K. home by 2025 in his bid for the most important job in the land. Now comes the difficult part.To have any chance of success, the Prime Minister must first convince telecommunications executives there is a profit opportunity.“The productivity of the nation isn’t in my business case,” Philip Jansen, chief executive of former state monopoly BT Group Plc, said last month.The government will step up the pressure later on Thursday when the Digital Secretary Nicky Morgan gathers the heads of Britain’s broadband building companies at her Westminster office. The talks are expected to focus on how to reach Johnson’s accelerated infrastructure target, including a timeline for switching off older networks, according to people briefed on the closed-door meeting.So-called full fiber can deliver data ten times faster than copper lines. Currently in the U.K., fiber lines carry data over long distances to a neighborhood box, and copper lines connect the box to nearby homes. BT has drawn up proposals for switching off copper networks by 2027, Sky News reported late Wednesday.The U.K. badly lags European neighbors in full fiber, which reaches only 8% of British premises compared to about 90% of homes in Portugal and 70% in Spain.The reason is a combination of political will and local circumstances.A study commissioned last year by British officials suggested that Spain’s dominant phone company, Telefonica SA, opted for a faster fiber network build than U.K. counterpart BT as it faced greater competitive pressure to secure a speed advantage over rivals. A law has obliged construction firms to include fiber ducts in new buildings since 2000, so millions of residents were connected cheaply and quickly.In the U.K., fewer people live in apartment blocks, driving up installation costs. A similar construction law has been drafted for Britain, but the political disruption around Brexit has delayed its ratification.Then there’s the challenge of turning a profit on the investment. If consumers get fiber, will they all pay for it, especially now that advances in copper technology can squeeze more data through the same pipes?“For the foreseeable future, speeds are more than adequate for household needs,” said James Ratzer, an analyst at New Street Research. He also said more than half of the U.K. has access to ultrafast cable from Liberty Global Plc’s Virgin Media, and yet that company is losing broadband customers."BT is keen to see the industry work together with government on the big challenges – such as digital switchover and rural coverage,” a BT spokesman said by email.Were a date to be fixed for shutting off copper networks, that would remove the risk that BT is forced to pay for fiber buildout without being assured that customers will switch to the faster network. Building RightsThe fiber goal can’t be reached without BT, whose CEO Jansen has said he’s up for the challenge as long as the industry can get hold of 30,000 extra workers to dig up roads and the government scraps planning rules to give carriers build rights now enjoyed by water and power utilities.There are signs the government is softening its message to avoid a clash. Johnson more recently pledged a “gigabit” target instead of “full-fiber,” an acknowledgement that other technologies like 5G wireless networks could be used to deliver faster internet.The government “wants to deliver world-class, gigabit-capable digital infrastructure across the country and will announce further details on how we will achieve this as soon as possible,” a spokesman for Morgan said.Officials and lawmakers hoping to speed things up have been distracted by Brexit, while Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament cuts down the already small amount of time to push through legislation.Churn at the top of government hasn’t helped: Morgan is the fourth person to hold her post in two years and the growing prospect of another national election means yet more uncertainty.(Updates with context and company comments from fourth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Rodrigo Orihuela.To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Seal in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Thomas Pfeiffer at firstname.lastname@example.org, Jennifer RyanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
For the eighth consecutive year, Dow Jones has named Liberty Global as one of the world’s most sustainable companies operating in the media industry. The company’s sustainability strategy has been rewarded with a listings in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) in both the World and North American categories. Liberty Global subsidiary Telenet also appears in the World index and sector leader among the world’s most sustainable media companies for the seventh year.