Liberty Global

Liberty Global plc
Liberty Global, Inc.
Liberty Global B.V.
Public limited company
Traded as
Founded 2005 in Douglas County, Colorado, United States
Key people
John C. Malone
Mike Fries
(Vice Chairman & CEO)
Revenue US$ 20 billion (2016)[2]
US$ 2.8 billion (2016)[2]
Total assets US$ 68.7 billion (2016)[2]
Total equity US$ 13.8 billion (2016)[2]
Number of employees
47,000 (2016)

Liberty Global is a multinational telecommunications company with headquarters in London, Amsterdam and Denver. It was formed in 2005 by the merger of the international arm of Liberty Media and UGC (UnitedGlobalCom).[3] Liberty Global is the largest broadband internet service provider outside the US.[4]

Liberty Global had an annual revenue of $18.3 billion in 2015, with operations in 30 countries and 47,000 employees by 2016. Its cable services pass 55.8 million homes, with 28.6 million customers or 59 million RGUs (video, internet, and voice subscribers).[5][4][6] In 2016, Liberty Global was ranked 88th on the Forbes World's Most Innovative Companies list.[7]


Liberty Global Inc. was founded in 2005 when Liberty Media International, Inc. (LMI) and UnitedGlobalCom, Inc. (UGC) merged. LMI and UGC became subsidiaries of Liberty Global. The new entity had operations in 18 countries and networks over approximately 23 million homes, making it one of the largest broadband services companies in the world.[8][9]

Liberty acquired German company Unitymedia in November 2009 for $5.2 billion. Unitymedia was Liberty's first German acquisition and the largest private-equity exit in Europe in 2009.[10] In 2010, Liberty sold its stake in Jupiter Telecommunications, a Japanese telecommunications-services provider as Liberty shifted its resources back toward Europe.[11]

In January 2013, Liberty Global raised its stake in Belgium-based Telenet from 50.2% to 58%.[12] In June 2013, Liberty Global acquired British cable group Virgin Media for $24 billion in cash and stock.[13][14] The agreement expanded Liberty into Europe's largest cable market. The acquisition was ranked as one of the 10 largest cable deals of all time.[15] Liberty agreed on October 28 to sell Chellomedia for $1.035 billion except for its Benelux unit to AMC Networks.[12] It was reported that this acquisition would make Liberty Global the largest broadband company in the world.[3]

Liberty Global announced it would be acquiring Dutch cable company Ziggo for €10 billion in January 2014. The acquisition was completed in November 2014, when the services of UPC Nederland began to be merged into the new business.[16] Liberty Global and Discovery Communications became joint owners of All3Media in May 2014 in a £500 million joint deal.[17][18][19] In July 2014, Liberty Global acquired a 6.4% stake in ITV plc, valued at £481 million.[20] Liberty's stake in the company increased to 9.9% in July 2015.[21][22]

In November 2015, Liberty Global announced its acquisition of Cable & Wireless Communications. The $5.3 billion deal expanded Liberty Global's presence into the Caribbean & greater Latin America.[23][24][25] The acquisition was completed in May 2016.[4] In 2015, Liberty established the stock Liberty Latin American & Caribbean (LiLAC) focusing on Panama and the Caribbean with assets in Chile and Puerto Rico. Liberty Global is also owner of Cable & Wireless Communications' Seychelles business (named Cable and Wireless Seychelles), a vestige of CWC's once expansive portfolio which once included businesses in Macau, Monaco (Monaco Telecom), Jersey, Isle of Man, Guernsey, St. Helena, Ascension Island, Falkland Islands and Diego Garcia (under the brand Sure, sold to Batelco). The company also owned a 49% stake in majority state-owned Trinidadian telco, TSTT, which it was eventually obliged to dispose of as the company itself competes with Liberty's wholly owned Trinidadian subsidiary, FLOW Trinidad.[26][27] Liberty Global and Discovery Communications paid approximately $195 million for a 3.4% stake in Lions Gate Entertainment Group in November 2015. Liberty CEO Mike Fries joined the Lion's Gate board of directors as part of the acquisition.[28][29][30] Liberty invested £7.5million in global broadband cable network Technetix in July 2016.[31][32] In November 2016, Liberty Global's Virgin Media subsidiary released its Netflix and other app-enabled set-top V6 box.[33]

Merger with Vodafone in the Netherlands

In June 2015, Vodafone confirmed talks with Liberty Global focused on potential partnerships, but denied that a full merger was in the works.[34][35][36] Liberty Global invested in Guavus, a data analytics company, in September 2015.[37] In February 2016, it was announced that Vodafone and Liberty Global would merge Dutch operations. Liberty's Dutch subsidiary, Ziggo, would work with Vodafone's mobile network.[38][39] Vodafone paid Liberty €1 billion as part of the joint venture valued at €3.5 billion.[40][41] The deal was approved by the European Commission in August 2016.[42] On December 31, 2016, the proposed merger of Liberty Global's and Vodafone Group's Dutch operations was completed, resulting in a joint venture called VodafoneZiggo Group Holding B.V.[43]

Horizon TV

Horizon TV is Liberty Global's flagship platform with more than 10 million first-generation Horizon TV devices sold.

Liberty Global launched Horizon TV, a box to stream to TVs, in 2012.[44] H2, an upgraded version of the Horizon box, was launched in 2013. The new system included an upgraded remote control with a QWERTY keyboard. A secondary box connects wirelessly to the main device allowing TV, DVR and VoD streaming to multiple rooms in a subscriber's house.[45] Liberty partnered with ActiveVideo in 2013 to include ActiveVideo's CloudTV on the Horizon boxes.[46] Twitter was integrated into Horizon's mobile app library in 2016. The addition allowed live tweets to be overlaid onto the screen of a program being broadcast.[47][48] Also in 2016, Horizon TV was launched in Austria, making it available in all three German-speaking countries that Liberty Global operates in.[49]


Liberty Global operates through the following subsidiaries:



Part of Liberty Global is separately listed as LiLAC (Liberty Latin America and Caribbean Group), operating in over 20 countries under the consumer brands VTR, FLOW, Liberty, Más Móvil and BTC, as well as having a sub-sea fiber network.

Liberty Global's operations in the Americas consists of Liberty Puerto Rico, a provider of pay TV, Internet, and telephone services in Puerto Rico, and VTR, a Chilean cable provider of television, telephone, mobile and internet services. Through the acquisition of Cable and Wireless Communications, Liberty Global has become the owner of the largest pay-TV and broadband provider in the Caribbean. In addition, the company also owns CWC's operations in the Seychelles named Cable and Wireless Seychelles.


Liberty Global serves 12 countries in Europe,[52] and is among the largest cable operators in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.[53]


  1. "Contact". Liberty Global.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Financials". Yahoo! Finances.
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  11. Jeffrey McCraken, Daisuke Wakabayahi (January 25, 2010). "Liberty Global to Sell Stake in Jupiter". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  12. 1 2 Tartaglione, Nancy. (October 28, 2013) AMC Networks To Pay $1B For Liberty Global’s Chellomedia. Accessed on October 28, 2013.
  13. Dana Cimilluca; Lilly Vitorovich; Anupreeta Das (Feb 5, 2013). "Liberty Global to Acquire Virgin Media". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  14. Juliette Garside (February 6, 2013). "Virgin Media bought for £15bn by Liberty Global". The Guardian. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  15. Mark Scott, Eric Pfanner (February 5, 2013). "Liberty Global Reaches Deal for Virgin Media". The New York Times. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  16. Briel, Robert (January 27, 2014). "Liberty Global to acquire Ziggo for €10bn". Broadband TV News. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  17. Mark Sweney (May 8, 2014). "All3Media sold to Discovery and Liberty Global in deal worth £500m". The Guardian. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  18. Georg Szalai (September 23, 2014). "Discovery, Liberty Global Complete Acquisition of U.K. Producer All3Media". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  19. Anne-Sylvaine Chassany, Henry Mance (May 8, 2014). "Liberty Global and Discover agree £550m deal for UK's All3media". Financial Times. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  20. Clover, Julian (July 17, 2014). "Liberty Global makes £481m investment in ITV". Broadband TV News. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
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  26. Shalini Ramachandran (November 16, 2015). "Liberty Global to Buy Cable & Wireless Communications for $5.3 Billion". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
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  28. Meg James, Ryan Faughnder (November 10, 2015). "Lionsgate sells 6.8% stake to John Malone's Liberty Global". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  29. Gerry Smith (June 30, 2016). "Malone May Have Bigger Plans Beyond Lions Gate Purchase of Starz". Bloomberg. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  30. Michael J. de la Marced (November 10, 2015). "Liberty Global Take Stakes in Lions Gate". The New York Times. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  31. "Liberty Global invests in Technetix". Advanced Television. July 5, 2016. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  32. "Liberty Global Ventures invests £7.5m in Technetix". Digital TV Europe. July 5, 2016. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  33. Williams, Christopher (November 30, 2016). "Virgin Media Plays Catch-Up on TV With V6 Set-Top Box Overhaul". The Telegraph. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  34. Thomson, Amy (September 17, 2014). "Vodafone-Liberty Global Deal Is Way to End Duel: Real M&A". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved July 8, 2015.
  35. Oscar Williams-Grut (June 5, 2015). "This could be the beginning of the end of Vodafone". Business Insider. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  36. Ben Chu (June 5, 2015). "Vodafone confirms talks with Liberty Global, but quashes talk of merger". Independent. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  37. "Liberty Global Invests in Big Data Analytics Company Gauvus, A Step Closer to IoT?". IoT League. September 15, 2015. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  38. Alex Scroxton (February 16, 2016). "Vodafone and Liberty Global to merge in Netherlands". Computer Weekly. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  39. Andrew Trotman, Kate Palmer (February 16, 2016). "Vodafone and Liberty Global announce Dutch tie-up". The Telegraph. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  40. Maarten Van Tartwijk, Simon Zekaria (February 16, 2016). "Liberty Global, Vodafone Hook Up for Multibillion-Dollar Dutch Venture". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  41. Grace Huang; Elco Van Groningen; Kristen Schweizer (February 15, 2016). "Vodafone, Liberty Global Merge Dutch Units to Take On KPN". Bloomberg. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  42. "Vodafone, Liberty Global welcome merger clearance". Advanced Television. August 4, 2016. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  43. Avery, Greg; Harden, Mark (December 31, 2016). "Liberty Global Completes $3.7B Netherlands Joint-Venture Deal With Vodafone". Denver Business Journal. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  44. Steve Donohue (September 7, 2012). "Liberty Global deploys Horizon TV platform with Samsung, Intel, NDS technology". Fierce Cable. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  45. "Liberty Global outlines Horizon upgrade plans, future vision and lessons » Digital TV Europe".
  46. "Liberty partners with ActiveVideo for Horizon » Digital TV Europe".
  47. Jeff Baumgartner (February 22, 2016). "Liberty Global Ties in Twitter". Multichannel News. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  48. "Liberty Global adds Twitter integration to Horizon platform". Digital TV Europe. February 22, 2016. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  49. "Liberty Global to roll out Horizon TV in Austria". Broadband TV News. February 16, 2016. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  51. "Strategische Beteiligung von upc cablecom an der e-fon AG". e-fon. October 1, 2013.
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  53. Finance. "Virgin media launch to cost £20m". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
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