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Liberty Global To Acquire Unitymedia For Euro2 Bln

GEORGE FREY

FRANKFURT (AP) ¿ U.S. cable television operator Liberty Global Inc. said Friday it has agreed to pay euro2 billion ($3 billion) for all of Germany's second-largest cable TV provider, Unitymedia GmbH.

Liberty Global, based in Engelwood, Colorado, said it would acquire all of the shares from parent company Unity Media S.C.A., which is owned by a group of shareholders led by private equity companies Apollo and BC partners. Liberty will also take on euro1.5 billion in debt ($2.2 billion),

The deal, approved by Unitymedia's board, could still face transaction costs.

Liberty Global's chairman is John Malone, a longtime player in the cable television industry. Malone is also the chairman of Liberty Media Corporation and the DIRECTV Group Inc.

Malone has been interested in the German market for some time. In 2001, he attempted to buy Deutsche Telekom AG's cable television assets.

Unitymedia, based in Cologne, has potential coverage of about 9 million homes and covers 10 of Germany's biggest cities, including Cologne, Duesseldorf and Frankfurt.
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