* Buys 12.65 pct stake in Ziggo for 632.5 mln euros
* Liberty already present in Netherlands through UPC
* Ziggo shares rise on speculation of full takeover bid
* Liberty already tied up with $15.75 bln Virgin Media deal
(Adds shares, analyst comment, background)
AMSTERDAM, March 28 Cable operator Liberty
Global extended its reach into the Netherlands by
buying a 12.65 percent stake in Ziggo for 632.5
million euros ($808 million), prompting speculation it might
eventually make a full bid.
Liberty Global, which owns Dutch cable firm UPC, said on
Thursday it bought the shares in the Netherlands' largest cable
operator for 25 euros apiece from Barclays Capital Securities.
Barclays ended up with a 14.2 percent stake in Ziggo after
failing to find enough buyers for the shares in a sale it ran
Ziggo shares shot up 9.3 percent to 26.565 euros in early
trading, valuing the whole company at about 5.3 billion euros.
Analysts said the rise was based on the idea Liberty could
make a full bid, although they added it probably couldn't in the
short term because it was already planning to buy Britain's
Virgin Media Inc for about $15.75 billion.
"Ziggo shares should benefit from hopes of an eventual
takeover by Liberty, but we think the shares are also seeing a
short-squeeze following overhang from the recent placing," said
UBS Investment Research in a research note.
Liberty said in a statement the acquisition, in a sector in
which it is already involved, was attractive given the stock's
dividend yield of about 7.4 percent, based on the expectation
that Ziggo would pay 370 million euros to investors in 2013.
Liberty said it would fund the purchase with a non-recourse
margin loan and existing cash.
Ziggo serves around 2.8 million households in the
Netherlands, with almost 1.8 million Internet subscribers, more
than 2.2 million subscribers using digital television and 1.5
million using its telephone service.
UPC has 1.7 million Dutch customers of its Internet
services, with just over 1 million people using either its
digital or Internet services and more than 900,000 telephony
($1 = 0.7824 euros)
(Reporting by Gilbert Kreijger and Philip Blenkinsop;
additional reporting by Leila Abboud; Editing by Sara Webb and