EU rubber stamps Cinven’s acquisition of UPC France

14 Jul 2006

UK-based investment firm Cinven has won approval from the European Commission for its proposed purchase of Liberty Global’s French cable TV, telephony and internet access business, UPC France, for USD1.59 billion in cash. The deal will merge the operations of UPC-Noos and Numericable creating an enlarged company with control of nearly all the domestic cable services market and a subscriber base of four million users. In a statement the EU said ‘The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area.’ UPC France has about 1.6 million customers buying CATV, broadband access and telephony services, but it is much smaller than the rival telcos.