Liberty Global reports Q3 2021 Results:
- Strong demand for connectivity driving sustained volume growth, added 266k aggregate broadband and postpaid mobile subscribers in Q3
- New Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) portfolios launched in the UK and Switzerland; integration and synergy plans in both markets progressing well
- Network strategies steadily advancing with over 80% of fixed footprint actively marketing 1 Gbps broadband, new network plans announced in Belgium and Ireland
- On track for full-year share repurchases of $1.4 billion
CEO Mike Fries stated, “Q3 marked the first full quarter of operations for all four of our converged national champions, as we continue demonstrating strong commercial momentum across the group. Operationally, we added 266,000 aggregate broadband and postpaid mobile subscribers during the quarter driven by continued execution of our convergence strategies. In the UK and Switzerland, we remain on track with our integration and synergy plans, while recently introducing new FMC portfolios at both Virgin Media O2 and Sunrise UPC. Virgin Media O2’s VOLT campaign builds on its rapidly growing gigabit-ready footprint and 5G coverage across the UK. In Switzerland, our new Sunrise We bundles allow customers to benefit from the best broadband connectivity in the market and a completely new Sunrise TV service.
During the quarter we continued advancing our network development strategies in all of our operations. In the UK, Virgin Media O2 increased its 1Gbps footprint by 75% to reach nearly 13 million UK homes, while FTTP upgrade pilots are underway as part of its plan to deploy a full fiber overlay across the entire HFC network by 2028. Meanwhile in Belgium, Telenet recently announced the intention to create a new, self-funding NetCo with utility company Fluvius that will own the “data network of the future” in Flanders. And in Ireland, we are announcing plans today to upgrade our fixed HFC network with a low-cost FTTH overlay during the next three years – a project requiring less than €100 million of new equity.
We also continued making solid progress in terms of our Ventures investments and running our levered equity strategy for value creation. We reached a definitive agreement to sell UPC Poland for a total enterprise value of $1.8 billion. The sale price represents a multiple of approximately 9x UPC Poland’s estimated 2021 Adjusted EBITDA, and nearly 20x its estimated 2021 Adjusted EBITDA less P&E Additions. Net cash proceeds to Liberty Global are expected to be ~$600 million and the transaction is expected to close in H1 ’22.
Our Ventures portfolio, valued at $3.1 billion, is becoming too big to ignore with focused investment strategies around technology, content and infrastructure – in markets and services directly adjacent to our core FMC operations. In Q3 we formed a joint venture with DigitalBridge called AtlasEdge to serve the growing European demand for scalable data center capacity that brings applications and content closer to the edge. We continue to benefit from some of our early-stage venture capital deals as well, such as Plume which operates one of the largest Software Defined Networks (SDN) in the world, offering an AI-driven, cloud-based platform for managing the customer experience on home and small business WiFi networks. Plume recently announced the closing of a $300 million Series F round that raised the company’s disclosed valuation to $2.6 billion, adding significant value to our ownership stake.”
Read the full Q3 2021 press release here.