Liberty Global completes $4.1B KBW acquisition

Liberty Global (Nasdaq: LBTYA) announced that it has closed its $4.1 billion acquisition of Germany's Kabel BW GmbH after receiving all necessary regulatory approvals. Germany was cited by Liberty Global as Europe's largest and fastest growing cable TV market, and its purchase of of KBW, the third largest company operating in that market, will be greatly enhanced as KBW combines with Liberty's own UnityMedia, the second largest operator in the market.

KBW, as of the end of September, served about 2.4 million customers, and when combined with UnityMedia, Liberty Global's properties in the market will pass more than 12 million homes and have more than 7 million customers. Liberty Global said in a statement that KBW provides TV, broadband Internet and telephony services in the German federal state of Baden-Wurttemberg, which is one of the most prosperous regions in Europe.

The KBW deal comes just a few months after Liberty Global acquired Aster, the largest cable TV company in Poland. Observers of the cable TV market in Germany have noted that the market has entered a consolidation phase that is likely to see more deals emerge. Deutsche Telekom (XETRA: DTE.DE), a telco giant, remains the incumbent to beat in that market, and ironically, all of this acquisition talk comes almost 10 years after Liberty Global founder and cable TV legend John Malone attempted to acquire DT itself to dominate the German market. His bid was rejected by regulators.

For more:
- here's the Liberty Global release

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