* Liberty Global increased stake to 58.3 pct from 50.4 pct
* Telenet shares down, but still above bid price of 35 euro/shr
BRUSSELS, Jan 18 (Reuters) - U.S. cable group Liberty Global said on Friday it would not extend its bid for Belgian cable operator Telenet, in which it now holds a 58.3 percent stake.
The group held a controlling 50.4 percent of Telenet when it offered 35 euros per share to gain full control of the company in September last year, but most shareholders held out for a higher bid.
Liberty Global’s offer valued the remaining stake in the Belgian operator, which provides television, broadband and mobile phone services in the Dutch-speaking north of Belgium, at 1.96 billion euros ($2.6 billion).
Liberty Global said in an official announcement in Belgian business dailies De Tijd and L‘Echo that it now held 58.3 percent of Telenet and 58.4 percent of the voting rights. It also said it would not reopen the bid, which was to expire on Friday.
Telenet’s shares traded 3 percent lower in early trading around 35.65 euros, still above Liberty Global’s bid value.
If Liberty Global wanted to extend or increase its bid in the coming 12 months, it would have to also offer the new conditions to those shareholders who had already tendered their shares, KBC analyst Tom Simonts said.
“It is as boring as it can be, the offer has been completed,” said Simonts, who has an “Accumulate” recommendation on the shares.
“It’s business as usual now with the focus returning to their business performance and valuation of the shares.”
Telenet unexpectedly released a trading update last week, saying its 2012 revenues rose by 8.2 percent to 1.49 billion euros, beating analysts’ average forecast of 1.48 billion and company guidance for growth of 7-8 percent.