The Swedish Competition Authority (Konkurrensverket) has approved cableco Com Hem’s acquisition of pay-TV operator Boxer. The takeover had already received approval from the government on 1 September, and Com Hem now expects to complete the deal ‘as soon as possible’.
As part of a wider plan to expand into the single dwelling unit (SDU) market, in June this year cable and open access fibre broadband provider Com Hem agreed to purchase Boxer, which operates over Sweden’s digital terrestrial television (DTT) network, for an enterprise value of SEK1.330 billion (USD163 million). TeleGeography notes that to date Com Hem has been predominantly focused on serving multiple dwelling units (e.g. apartment blocks), but it has begun a significant rollout to fibre-based networks beyond the HFC cable footprint, aiming to pass 800,000 SDU households via fibre over the coming years. Explaining how the purchase of Boxer – with approximately 500,000 DTT-based pay-TV subscribers predominantly in the SDU market – will boost its own fibre-based SDU strategy, Com Hem said: ‘The fibre expansion in the SDU market [by operators including broadband market leader Telia] has over the last years put pressure on Boxer’s customer base. The Com Hem SDU expansion programme will enable Boxer to sell market leading bundled broadband and TV services to its customer base. The acquisition of Boxer thereby represents a highly attractive opportunity for Com Hem to accelerate its reach in the SDU market.’