Barclays sells off its Dutch slice for £535m

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Barclays has offloaded its stake in the Dutch media group Ziggo to the billionaire who is buying Virgin Media. The banking group has agreed to sell a 12.7 per cent holding to Liberty Global, which is controlled by John Malone, pictured, for €633m (£535m). Last month, Mr Malone agreed the $16bn (£11bn) takeover of Virgin Media.

Liberty has pay-TV operations around the world and is the largest cable operator in most of its 11 European markets. The group has played down suggestions it is trying to go head-to-head with the media mogul Rupert Murdoch, despite its aggressive expansion across Europe.

The Colorado-based group said: "Liberty Global considers the acquisition of this minority stake in Ziggo as an attractive opportunity to make a strategic investment in a market where it already enjoys a sizeable presence through its UPC Netherlands subsidiary."

Barclays was left holding the Ziggo shares after failing to find enough bidders for a stake it was selling on behalf of Cinven and Warburg Pincus. The bank had agreed to underwrite the so-called block sale.