International telecoms group Millicom International Cellular (MIC) has announced that it has signed a binding agreement to acquire 100% of Cablevision Paraguay from Argentina’s Grupo Clarin, for an enterprise value of USD150 million. The completion of the deal, which is anticipated to take place by end-2012, is subject to a number of customary approvals, including authorisation from the relevant regulatory authorities in Paraguay.
Cablevision began offering cable TV services in Asuncion in 1989, and its network currently covers around 470,000 households in and around the capital. As at end-2011 the company claimed 115,800 cable TV subscribers and 11,300 broadband customers. During FY11 Cablevision Paraguay saw its revenues increase 22% to USD50.6 million, with EBITDA reported at USD20.0 million for the twelve months in question.
Mikael Grahne, CEO of MIC, commented: ‘Today’s acquisition of Cablevision Paraguay, the leader in pay-TV in Asuncion, is in line with our strategy of offering an increasingly rich customer experience through the organic development of innovative value added services (VAS) and bolt-on acquisitions. For the past 20 years, Paraguay has been a test-bed for us when it comes to offering innovative services. With today’s deal, we aim to accelerate our entry into broadband at home, offering relevant services to customers in the communication, information and entertainment categories. We look forward to welcoming Cablevision’s Paraguay customers and employees to the Tigo family.’
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, MIC was first linked with an approach for Cablevision in March this year, when Paraguayan politician Miguel Lopez Perito told the press: ‘The Clarin Group offered to sell Cablevision to several media organisations in our area … the offer will be considered and the issue discussed. They intend to leave the country’. Previously, in September 2011 Cablevision was forced to deny press reports suggesting that it was on the verge of being sold to either Mexico’s America Movil (which has a presence in the Paraguayan wireless sector through Claro Paraguay) or Telecom Argentina-owned cellco Nucleo (Telecom Personal Paraguay). The subsequently-discredited report valued the cableco at USD180 million.