According to a recent Bloomberg report, Liberty Global plc. (LBTYA - Analyst Report), a leading cable TV operator in Europe and Latin America, may consider a decision to spin off its Latin American operations. Liberty Global’s Latin American operations include VTR Internet and wireless businesses in Chile and its 60% share in Liberty Cablevision of Puerto Rico.
Liberty Global is trying to extensively penetrate the European region with its bundled video, voice and Internet (data) services. The European markets are still relatively untapped for this unique triple-play offering.
Currently, the company is negotiating to acquire full control of Ziggo N.V., the largest cable MSO (multi service operator) in Netherlands. At present, Liberty Global holds a 28.5% stake in Ziggo. The financial terms on which the two entities are currently negotiating for the remaining 71.5% stake of Ziggo are yet to be disclosed. Ziggo competes with telecom operators such as Royal KPN N.V. and Vodafone Group plc. (VOD - Analyst Report).
Liberty Global has become the largest cable TV operator in Germany after its acquisition of UnityMedia GmbHand Kabel Baden-Wuerttemberg GmbH & Co KG. The company already has a strong presence in the Dutch cable-TV market through its UPC Broadband Holding BV unit, which is the second largest cable MSO in the country. The company currently holds a 58.4% stake in the Belgian cable TV operator Telenet Group Holding NV.
In Jun 2013, Liberty Global acquired a 100% stake in the British cable MSO, Virgin Media. In the U.K., the merged entity poses serious competitive threat to British Sky Broadcasting Group plc and BT Group plc. (BT - Snapshot Report). British Sky Broadcasting Group is the largest pay-TV operator in the U.K. and is partially controlled by News Corp. (NWSA - Analyst Report). Currently, Liberty Global carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).