Liberty Global to sell stake to Japan's KDDI

Jan 25, 2010

(AP) -- Japan's second-largest telecommunications company, KDDI Corp., said Monday it is acquiring Liberty Global Inc.'s stake in Japan's largest cable TV operator for $4 billion in cash.

Liberty Global is selling its 37.8 percent stake in Jupiter Telecommunications Inc., known as J:Com, to KDDI in mid-February. The 2.6 million-share deal comes to 140,000 yen per share, or about $1,550, representing a 65 percent premium to J:Com's closing stock price on Friday.

Liberty Global, an Englewood, Colo., cable whose chairman is cable pioneer John Malone, wants to focus its investments in Europe.

David Joyce, an analyst at Miller Tabak, said Japan is a mature market with less room for growth, while Europe offers "greater upside and greater opportunities for triple-play penetration" - the bundling of cable TV, Internet and phone services sold to consumers.

Meanwhile, the European Commission on Monday approved Liberty Global's acquisition of Unitymedia GmbH, Germany's second-largest cable TV operator. The $5.2 billion deal, in cash and assumption of debt, is expected to close in a few days. Unitymedia's owners are investors led by private equity companies Apollo and BC partners.

Malone has been interested in the German market before. In 2001, he attempted to buy AG's cable TV operations.

Malone also is chairman of Liberty Media Corp., whose investments are concentrated in the U.S., and of the U.S. satellite TV operator DirecTV Inc.

Jupiter was established in 1995 as a joint venture between Japanese trading company Sumitomo Corp. and Liberty Global, and provides Internet, cable TV and mobile phone services in Japan.

The deal allows KDDI to expand to cable TV networks, while providing telecom services to Jupiter's 3.3 million clients, KDDI said in a statement.

Amid declining demand for fixed-line phones, other Japanese telecom companies have moved to provide packaged services of video, phone and Internet.

Liberty Global has 17 million customers in 14 countries, of which 10 are in Europe.

Shares of Liberty Global were up $1.53, or 6.5 percent, to $25.07 in midday trading.

Explore further: The UK doesn't yet need net neutrality regulations

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

DirecTV, Liberty Media detail spinoff plans

May 04, 2009

(AP) -- DirecTV Group Inc., the nation's largest satellite TV provider, said Monday it will be combined with the entertainment unit of Liberty Media Corp. and spun off into a separately traded company.

DirecTV shows subscriber gains, as rivals see loss

Nov 05, 2009

(AP) -- Satellite TV operator DirecTV Group Inc. was one of the few pay-TV companies to attract new subscribers in the third quarter, as it reported revenue growth of 10 percent that was partly offset by higher costs to attract ...

Satellite equipment maker ViaSat buying WildBlue

Oct 01, 2009

(AP) -- ViaSat Inc. is acquiring WildBlue Communications Inc., a provider of high-speed Internet access via satellite, for $568 million in cash and stock, the companies said Thursday.

Recommended for you

The UK doesn't yet need net neutrality regulations

5 hours ago

The net neutrality debate in the US has ended, at least for now, with the Federal Communications Commission ruling for stricter regulation of telecoms and internet service providers (ISPs) in order to maintain ...

Italy adopts plans to shift into Internet fast lane

11 hours ago

Italy's government adopted a six-billion-euro plan Tuesday to modernise its Internet network and improve access to broadband in hopes of shedding its reputation as one of Europe's online laggards.

Phone firms and the quest for the 5G Holy Grail

22 hours ago

Lightning-quick downloads, driverless cars and remote surgery: telecom firms are racing to develop a new generation of "5G" mobile networks that could start to change the world in five years.

Google to offer own cellular network plan

Mar 02, 2015

Google will soon be offering cellular network plans in a bid to bridge the gap between the realms of Internet services and mobile device software it dominates.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.