Liberty swoops on Vodafone target Kabel

Michael Bow
Follow Michael
VIRGIN Media owner Liberty Global will go head to head with FTSE giant Vodafone to buy German cable firm Kabel Deutschland, after confirming a rival bid for the company last night.

Kabel Deutschland, Germany’s biggest cable operator, said it had received a “preliminary proposal” from Liberty to buy the firm, after reports the US outfit was mounting a €7.5bn (£6.4bn) takeover bid.

The move puts it in direct competition with mobile phone titan Vodafone, who last week made an initial €81 per share bid for the company, valuing it at €7.2bn.

Liberty Global, which is owned by American cable television baron John Malone, pictured, hit the headlines in February after swooping for Virgin Media in a deal worth around £15bn.

The Liberty offer is said to be €4 higher than Vodafone’s initial move, at €85 a share.

Vodafone is thought to be readying a higher bid for the company after the initial rebuke.

The Liberty bid could add renewed tension between Vodafone and its shareholders over how to deploy its cash. Vodafone declined to comment last night.