John Malone’s Liberty Global is continuing its international expansion by looking to acquire Ireland’s TV3, according to reports. Liberty is reputedly in exclusive talks to buy the Irish broadcaster, which is valued at $110 million. TV3’s owners, private equity group Doughty Hanson, are known to have been actively looking to sell the channel for some time.
Liberty Global is the largest cable company in the world, with 27 million customers across 14 countries. Assets include Virgin Media, Unity Media and Ziggo. The company is looking to diversify its offering by owning more wireless assets so it can get into the quad play business: offering TV, landline phone, broadband Internet and wireless service.
It has steadily increased its presence in the UK market, buying pay-TV and broadband company Virgin Media for $24 billion in 2013 and buying out BSkyB’s 6.4% stake in ITV last year for $750 million. The company is also currently in talks with Vodafone over an asset sharing agreement with the telco that some believe may lead to Liberty’s eventual takeover of the company. Vodafone reps have denied the talks are related to an acquisition. Vodafone was itself linked to an expression of interest in the Murdoch family’s 39% stake in pan Euro TV giant Sky, which is held through Fox, that helped see Sky shares rise by up to 5% at one point on Monday on the FTSE 100.
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