EC gives nod to UPC Sweden buyout

7 Jun 2006

The European Commission has approved the proposed acquisition of NBS Nordic Broadband Services (UPC Sweden) by private equity firms Carlyle Europe Partners (Carlyle) and Providence Equity Offshore Partners (Providence), owners of Swedish cable broadband provider Com hem. Under EU merger regulations the Commission concluded that the deal would not result in a significant impediment to effective competition. UPC Sweden, currently a consolidated subsidiary of Liberty Global Inc, provides cable TV, cable-based broadband internet access and voice telephony services in Stockholm and its environs. In April 2006 Liberty Global agreed to sell UPC Sweden to a consortium including Carlyle and Providence for SEK3.269 billion (USD460 million). The two investment groups had recently acquired UPC’s domestic cable rival Com hem via their jointly controlled SPV Nordic Cable Acquisition Company AB. The Commission investigated the effects of the acquisition on the Swedish cable TV market at the wholesale level as well as its effects on downstream retail markets.