Liberty Media’s presence in Europe just got bigger. The U.S. communications giant has negotiated with Germany’s Deutsche Telekom to fully purchase six of DT’s nine regional cable franchises. The estimated value of the deal is in the ballpark of US$4.3 billion. While Liberty has brokered with DT for 100% ownership, the U.S. company is in talks with the U.K.’s Klesch & Co. to sell a 24.9% stake. Liberty and DT expect to reach definitive agreement by July.
Liberty holds interest in Discovery Communications (49%), Court TV (50%), STARZ! (100%) and E! Entertainment Television (10%), among other programming, communications, technology and internet businesses. A Liberty spokesperson says the focus of the German cable franchises has not yet been determined.
The six cable television regions that DT will sign over are: Hamburg/Schleswig-Holstein/Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Bremen/Niedersachsen, Rheinland-Pfalz/Saarland, Berlin/Brandenburg, Sachsen/Sachsen-Anhalt/Thüringen and Bayern. More than 10 million homes are connected to the cable network in these six regions.