Liberty Grabs Swiss Broadband Outfit

John Malone's international ambitions take him into the Alps.
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John Malone's

Liberty Global

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agreed to buy of Cablecom, Switzerland's largest broadband cable operator, for $2.1 billion in cash.

The timing of the transaction came as a surprise given that the Swiss company had just announced an IPO. Malone, however, was said to be looking at ways to increase his cable footprint in Europe for some time. Cablecom is owned by Apollo Management, TowerBrook Capital Partners and

Goldman Sachs

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affiliates.

"Continued expansion of our footprint in Europe is a core strategic objective," said Liberty Global chief executive Mike Fries in a statement. "Cablecom is a world-class operation with over 2 million video, voice and data subscribers in one of Europe's most attractive telecommunications markets."

Liberty Global was advised by JPMorgan and UBS in the transaction, which is expected to close in October.

Early Friday, Liberty Global was trading up 29 cents to $25.90.