Shareholders OK Libery-United mix

Malone at helm of one of Europe's biggest cable companies

HOLLYWOOD — The $3.5 billion merger of Liberty Media Intl. and UnitedGlobalCom got the greenlight from Liberty shareholders Wednesday, giving John Malone control of one of Europe’s biggest cable companies.

A vote of LMI shareholders echoed the result of Tuesday’s UGC shareholders vote.

LMI acquired the 47% of UGC it doesn’t already own, and will set up a new company called Liberty Global.

Deal is subject to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approval.

UGC operates cable TV, Internet and telephony via its European subsidiaries Chellomedia and UPC Broadband.

Zone Vision, Ireland’s Chorus and France’s Noos are among recent TV acquisitions, with other interests including Slovenian cable firm Telemach and a 14% stake in Belgian cable company Telenet.

The merger is among measures Liberty is taking to simplify its complicated structure. Earlier this year, it spun off its 50% stake in Discovery Communications and all of Ascent Media Group to form a new publicly listed company called Discovery Holdings.

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