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Liberty dials Romania deal

UPC Broadband to acquire all Astral shares

John Malone’s Liberty Global has inked an agreement to buy one of the largest broadband operators in Romania, continuing Liberty’s expansion across Central and Eastern Europe.

Liberty Global subsid UPC Broadband will acquire all shares of Astral for $404.5 million and assume $12 million in debt.

Astral, owned by a group of Romanian entrepreneurs, foreign investors and AIG New Europe Fund, serves roughly 890,000 video, voice and data customers.

Liberty Global prexy-CEO Mike Fries said Astral has a significant presence in Bucharest, Romania’s capital.

Transaction is subject to approval by Romanian regulators and is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Liberty Global shares were up $1.19 to close at $48.59 in trading Friday.

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