Liberty Global CEO talks up scale benefits of merged Dutch operations.
Liberty Global is still working on combining its Dutch cable operations, but expects to have unified the pair under the Ziggo brand in the next few months.
“We do expect by April to have the entire country rebranded,” Mike Fries, CEO of Liberty Global, said on the company’s fourth quarter 2014 results call late last week.
The U.S.-based company agreed to pay €10 billion for Dutch cable operator Ziggo just over a year ago, with a view to merging it with its existing cable subsidiary in the market, UPC. The merged entity will use the Ziggo brand and headquarters. Ziggo was included in Liberty Global’s results from late 2014.
The merged entity faces fierce competition from Netherlands incumbent KPN, which was very commercially aggressive in the fourth quarter of last year, Fries admitted.
“We don’t know what they are thinking or what they are doing,” he said.
The telco could be seeking to take advantage of the fact that “it will take us time to get the real merger and the rebranding done,” he suggested.
Scale benefits in the Netherlands will not come overnight, Fries said, but he was upbeat about the merged operator’s prospects in the market.
“We feel pretty good about the new Ziggo and its ability to scale across Holland,” he said.