US-headquartered Liberty Media has signed a definitive agreement to buy cable-TV businesses in six German regions from Deutsche Telekom for E5.5 billion ($5bn), subject to regulatory approval.

“Deutsche Telekom has achieved its aim of separating itself from its cable-television operations,” said Gerd Tenzer, head of DT’s production and technology unit, yesterday. “We will use the proceeds to reduce liabilities.”

The deal, first unveiled in June [WAMN: 21-Jun-01], hands Liberty access to over ten million households, and also includes other DT units MediaServices and Deutsche Telekom Kabel-Services, sold to satisfy antitrust regulators.

“The size of the customer base provides us with the scale we need to create a vibrant new company offering a variety of new choices to German consumers and attractive financial returns to our shareholders,” said Liberty chief executive Robert Bennett.

The American group plans to offer German customers extra programming, high-speed web access and local content.

News source: Wall Street Journal