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Liberty Global reorganises European businesses

Liberty Global is reorganising its European businesses, merging UPC Ireland with Virgin Media and UPC Netherlands with Ziggo to create a simpler debt structure.

Reuters reported that chief financial officer Charlie Bracken told an investor call yesterday that the new structure was “the culmination of a long journey” that would create a “more investor friendly capital structure”.

Dutch cable operator Ziggo, which Liberty Global acquired late last year, is to raise new debt amounting to €730 million (US$862.1 million) to finance the merger of UPC Netherlands, while Virgin Media is to raise approximately £925 million to finance the acquisition of the Irish operation.

Separately, Liberty Global plans has launched an offer to raise up to €1.475 billion to exchange into new loans issued out of a Ziggo special purpose vehicle.

The overall effect of the changes will be to remove the relevant businesses from the UPC credit pool, enabling high-yield debt purchasers to avoid concentration limits, according to Reuters.

Liberty Global announced last year that it was spinning off its Latin American and Caribbean businesses into a separate entity.