[June 12] Microsoft Corporation
agreed Monday to exercise the warrants it holds in United Pan-Europe
by purchasing 5.7 million shares worth $53.2 million.
The purchase raises Microsoft’s stake in UPC from seven percent to approximately
Originally, UPC issued the warrants as part of a technology relationship
agreement with Microsoft. They became exercisable in February 2000 but
Microsoft has waited until now to snap them up.
“Microsoft adds great strategic value to UPC and we are delighted by
its decision to increase its shareholding and by its continued support
for our company,” said UPC’s Chief Executive Mark Schneider.
Hank Vigil, vice president or Executive Management at Microsoft said
the software giant was a great believer in UPC and shared its vision
of the future for broadband and chello, UPC’s European broadband provider.
“We have chosen to exercise our warrants to further demonstrate our
commitment to the company,” said Vigil.
Europe’s largest cable operator with 8.4 million basic subscribers
as of March 2000, UPC provides not only cable television but
telephony, high-speed Internet access and programming services.
Its reach extends to thirteen European countries and across to Israel.
UPC is a subsidiary of Colorado-based UnitedGlobalCom Inc.