Acquisitive US cable group Liberty Media has taken further steps to expand in Europe by strengthening its hold on UnitedGlobalCom, the continent’s number two cable operator.

An earlier agreement was to give Liberty 44% of UnitedGlobalCom, which controls cross-border cable-TV giant United Pan-Europe Communications. Liberty will now, however, take a 76% stake in the group, in return for $200 million in cash, a loan of $896.1m, plus $1.44 billion in UPC bonds.

Liberty is keen to invest in European cable operators, intending to make money by upgrading the networks to offer services such as digital TV. Two months ago, UPC warned it would exhaust its cash supply in March [WAMN: 04-Oct-01].

News source: New York Times