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Liberty Global to buy 71.5 per cent of Dutch cable operator Ziggo for $13.7 billion

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AMSTERDAM - Liberty Global PLC, the cable company chaired by American tycoon John Malone, says it will buy the 71.5 per cent of Dutch cable provider Ziggo NV it doesn't already own for around 10 billion euros ($13.7 billion) in stock and cash.

Liberty owns the other major Dutch cable provider, UPC, and plans to merge into a dominant cable company that would cover 90 per cent of Dutch households. The management-supported deal announced Monday must be approved by regulators.

UPC and Ziggo argue competition also comes from mobile Internet and providers of ADSL, or high-speed Internet access.

Liberty's offer represents around 34.53 euros per Ziggo share. That's not far above the 33.25 that they closed at Friday, but represents a 22 per cent premium to their closing price on Oct. 15, the day before the companies announced they were in takeover talks.

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