NTL bidding for Belgian cabler

Buy would edge out UPC

BRUSSELS — American cabler NTL has made a $5 billion bid for Belgian cable operator Telenet, according to local press reports. Telenet controls the cable network in Flanders, the wealthy, Flemish-speaking northern region of Belgium.

NTL has not commented on the reports. If true, the company will have outbid Dutch cabler UPC, which also wants Telenet. British Telecom and Belgian cellular phone operator Mobistar have also shown an interest.

Telenet shareholders are meeting at the end of the week to consider bids. Telenet is 35% controlled by local authorities and 25% by U.S. group MediaOne, which wants to sell its stake.

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