Liberty plunks down $5.2 billion for Germany's Unitymedia

Liberty Global's dream of gaining a bigger foothold in Germany's cable market is now coming true as the company reached a deal to purchase Unitymedia, the country's second largest cable operator, for $3 billion.

To fund the deal, Englewood, Colo.-based Liberty will acquire the shares from its parent Unity Media S.C.A., a firm currently overseen by private equity companies Apollo and BC partners. In addition, Liberty will assume $2.2 billion in debt.

Led by company chairman and cable magnate John Malone, Liberty's interest in the German and overall European cable market is nothing new. Malone made a failed effort to acquire Deutsche Telekom's cable TV properties in 2001.

Unitymedia has a number of attractive aspects for anyone that wants to get into the German cable market. As of the end of September, Unitymedia had almost 5 million subscribers throughout Germany's 10 largest cities, including Cologne, Duesseldorf and Frankfurt.

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- CED via AP has this article

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