Liberty Enlists Others to Evade German Cable Takeover Ban

22 August 2002

John Malone’s billions attest that he doesn’t give up easily. As witness the cable assets of Deutsche Telekom, on which the US cable magnate has set his heart

Earlier this year Malone’s investment vehicle Liberty Media was thwarted in its €5.5 billion ($5.37bn; £3.53bn) bid for DT's six regional cable companies. The deal was blocked by Germany’s Cartel Office, which decided that the acquisition of 60% of the nation’s cable market would give the US firm too much control [WAMN: 26-Feb-02].

Malone has accordingly put together a consortium of private equity investors – New York duo Blackstone Capital Partners and Apollo – with which it has entered into the second round of an auction conducted under the gavel of NM Rothschild.

Final bids are due by September 30 and the Malone triumvirate is competing alongside at least five other investment consortia – with nary another cable operator in sight. It is unlikely the Malone bid will approach anything near to its February offer and insiders expect it to be around €2.5bn less.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff