Canada’s Cogeco Cable has announced the sale of its Portuguese subsidiary Cabovisao to the European Altice group. The transaction, which is worth EUR45 million (USD60.5 million), closed yesterday, but may still be subject to adjustments for certain contingent claims. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in November 2011 Cogeco contacted a number of domestic and international telecoms operators and private equity funds with a view to offloading its wholly-owned unit.
Back in June 2006 Cogeco acquired Cabovisao from fellow Canadian operator Cable Satisfaction International Inc (CSII) for EUR465 million, but Cogeco endured a torrid time in Portugal since entering the market. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, after breaking new ground with its own innovative triple-play package back in 2000, Cabovisao’s subscriber figures have suffered a steady decline in recent years, and all three of its principal business areas (cable TV/broadband/telephony) have witnessed significant drops in subscribers. The operator blamed the slump in subscribers on tougher-than-expected competition, with Portugal Telecom (PT) and Sonaecom both launching rival triple-play offers.
Altice is a telecoms investment group founded by Frenchman Patrick Drahi, which specialises in the acquisition of cablecos. Altice currently holds telecoms interests in France, Belgium and Luxembourg (Numericable), Israel (HOT Telecommunications Systems), Switzerland and the Caribbean.