Ziggo Owners Make $4.4 Billion as Warburg, Cinven Sell

Ziggo NV owners Warburg Pincus LLC and Cinven Ltd. sold their residual holdings in the Dutch cable television operator a year after its listing, generating a combined 3.4 billion euros ($4.4 billion) in proceeds from their investments.

Warburg and Cinven had gross proceeds of 329 million euros each from today’s sale and 1.7 billion euros each in total proceeds, they said in statements. Cinven said it made a return of 2.8 times its original investment. Warburg’s multiple was about 4 times, said a person familiar with the matter, who declined to be identified as the information isn’t public.

The deal comes as secondary-sale volumes in Europe have risen about 60 percent from last year, with investors cashing out as global equity markets trade near 4 1/2-year highs. Companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa raised more than $30 billion in additional share sales including block deals this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The private equity firms sold 34 million shares at 25.75 euros apiece, according to a statement from Ziggo. That represents a discount of 7.5 percent to yesterday’s closing price. Ziggo dropped 4.1 percent to 26.70 euros at the close of trading in Amsterdam today.

Ziggo shares had jumped about 50 percent since the initial public offering in March last year. A spokeswoman for Warburg declined to comment on the returns the company made on its investment.

Fixed Assets

Warburg and Cinven sold their stakes as European fixed-line assets draw interest from network operators. Liberty Global Inc. agreed in February to acquire U.K. cable provider Virgin Media Inc. Liberty Global and Vodafone Group Plc are considering potential bids for Germany’s Kabel Deutschland Holding AG, people familiar with the matter have said.

Liberty Global purchased a 12.7 percent stake in Ziggo last month from Barclays Plc after the British bank failed to attract sufficient interest in an earlier disposal by Warburg Pincus and Cinven.

Spain’s Telefonica SA is studying a potential sale of its fixed-line assets in Germany, people familiar with the matter said yesterday.

Deutsche Telekom AG Chief Executive Officer Rene Obermann is set to take the same role at Ziggo, which is based in Utrecht, Netherlands, and competes with domestic rivals including former Dutch phone monopoly Royal KPN NV.

UBS AG and Deutsche Bank AG managed Ziggo’s share sale.

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