Liberty Global has acquired a larger majority stake in Belgian telco Telenet, and will resume its effort to buy it outright.
The company will increase its ownership stake in the telco to 93.23 percent and will reopen its voluntary and conditional public takeover bid in August, having fallen just short of securing.95 percent of the shares in the first round.
Liberty has increased its stake in Telenet from 59 percent, just months after bidding €929 million ($1bn) for the full takeover of the Belgian operator.
In the update, Liberty said that almost 34.7 million Telenet shares were tendered during the initial acceptance period, held between June 8 and July 12, meaning that Liberty Global Belgium will own a total of 101,018,038 shares once the settlement has occurred on July 26, 2023.
Telenet already holds 3,500,526 treasury shares, so from that date, Liberty will directly or indirectly own 93.23 percent of Telenet.
"The offeror waives the condition of owning, together with Telenet, at least 95 percent of the outstanding shares in Telenet. Since the offeror, together with Telenet, will own more than 90 percent of all Telenet shares following the transfer of such shares on the Payment Date, the offer will be mandatorily reopened at 9:00 am CET on Thursday 24 August 2023," said Liberty Global in a statement.
"This subsequent acceptance period will close on Wednesday 13 September 2023. Shareholders who have not yet accepted the offer, being the remaining free float of 6.77 percent post-settlement, will thus be able to accept the offer in this period which gives investors who missed the initial acceptance period or those seeking additional liquidity the opportunity to still accept the offer."
For Liberty Global, ownership of 95 percent of shares is significant as it means that it passes a threshold for 90 percent of shares available for sale. This means that remaining shareholders will be bought out and forced to sell.
Since 2007, Liberty Global has been the controlling shareholder of Telenet, while Belgium is its fourth largest market in Europe after the UK, Netherlands, and Switzerland.