Tele Columbus Group, Germany’s third largest cable network operator, has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire PrimaCom, the country’s fourth largest cableco, for a total consideration of EUR711 million (USD781 million) on a cash and debt free basis. In a press release, Tele Columbus states that the combination of the two firms will lead to a ‘strong number three player’ in the German cable market, bringing together 2.8 million connected homes and two well-established housing association customer portfolios on one platform. The combined company will have an enhanced focus on Tele Columbus’ core Eastern German regions, as well as key Western regions such as Baden-Wuerttemberg, Hamburg, Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia. The acquisition of PrimaCom will be financed through a combination of cash on balance sheet, a fully underwritten financing including both a senior and junior tranche and a EUR125 million equity bridge loan.
‘This is a transformational transaction for Tele Columbus, strengthening our position as the number three player in the German cable market,’ commented Ronny Verhelst, CEO of Tele Columbus, adding: ‘Strategically and economically, this is a highly logical combination with significant network overlap between the two businesses and complimentary housing association customer bases. PrimaCom has shown impressive financial and operational performance over recent years and we look forward to further successes going forward.’ The transaction, which is expected to close on 31 July 2015, does not require regulatory approval and is not subject to merger control review.