Solidifying its position in the German cable television market, Liberty Global agreed on Monday to acquire Kabel Baden-Wuerttemberg (KBW), Germany’s third-largest multichannel video program distributor, in a deal valued at €3.19 billion (U.S. $4.48 billion). Liberty, the U.S. media conglomerate controlled by John Malone, already owns UnityMedia, the second-largest cable firm in Germany, passing 8.7 million homes and serving 4.6 million subscribers nationwide. The deal would give Liberty control of an additional 2.9 million customers in Germany, enabling the U.S firm to close the gap with market leader Kabel Deutschland (KD), which boasts 12 million subscribers. EQT Partners—the Swedish group that purchased KBW from the Blackstone Group in 2006—accepted Liberty’s offer after London-based CVC Capital Partners dropped its competing bid of €2.95 billion. As part of the transaction, Liberty will assume $3.19 billion in new debt financing resulting from EQT’s plan to “immediately” recapitalize KBW. Although the deal would put Liberty in control of a combined German cable operation that would leapfrog KD in terms of revenue, a spokesman for Liberty said his company was “very confident” of winning antitrust approval. Following receipt of regulatory approvals, officials expect the transaction to close in the second half of this year. Asserting that the purchase of KBW “provides us with further access to one of the fastest-growing cable markets in Europe and is fully aligned with our strategy of acquiring world class cable operators,” Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries called the deal “great news for our shareholders and, just as importantly, German consumers.”