German cable operator Tele Columbus has cancelled talks with banks about a loan refinancing as plans to hold an initial public offering (IPO) by the end of the year look increasingly doubtful, Reuters reports, citing two sources familiar with the matter. Earlier this month the cableco said that it was continuing to monitor the development of the stock market with regard to a potential listing, but added that ‘since the announcement of our plans to go public, volatility and uncertainty in global stock markets have increased considerably, due to macroeconomic developments not related to the company Tele Columbus.’ At the end of September the firm said it planned to raise at least EUR300 million (USD380.6 million) from an IPO and would use the proceeds from the new shares for a comprehensive refinancing of its debt, giving it more scope to invest for future growth. However, the unnamed sources said that the cableco has now cancelled talks with banks about a EUR500 million loan refinancing: ‘The refinancing was subject to the IPO … and the likelihood that an IPO will take place this year is currently very, very low,’ one of the people said, citing volatile market conditions.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that in 2009 Tele Columbus was sold to its creditors, including York Capital, Alcentra, GoldenTree Asset Management and the Bank of Ireland, as part of a financial restructuring. In February 2013 a move by Kabel Deutschland to acquire the cableco for EUR618 million was blocked by the Federal Cartel Office. Tele Columbus provides cable TV, broadband internet access and voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) telephony services to around 1.7 million connected households in Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia, as well as a number of focus areas in western Germany.