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Liberty Media to buy Casema

AMSTERDAM, Aug 1 (Reuters) -- U.S. media company Liberty Media said on Thursday it had agreed to buy Dutch Cable network Casema for 750 million euros in cash from France Telecom.

The bid to buy the network, the third largest cable operator in the Netherlands, would strengthen Liberty's cable position in Europe, the company said in a statement.

Liberty (L), which is already the owner of the Netherlands' largest cable network operator, United Pan-Europe Communications (UPCOY) (UPC), recently ended a bid to control Britain's Telewest (TWT) by terminating its offer to buy up the company's bonds.

Analysts, however, say Liberty has not given up plans to control the British network as it seeks to build a pan-European cable network.

The Casema deal is subject to approval by the Netherland's competition authority NMa. A Liberty spokeswoman told Reuters that Liberty had not yet begun talks with the NMa.

France Telecom (PFTE) is struggling to reduce its debt mountain of 60 billion euros and has been selling some non-core assets.

Liberty said it expected to finance the deal with cash and new bank financing and would likely close in the fourth quarter.


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