The US-owned, UK-headquartered international cable TV group Liberty Global has agreed to buy Polish cableco Multimedia Polska in an all-cash transaction which values Multimedia at PLN3 billion (USD760 million). The final purchase price is subject to potential downward adjustments for the operational and financial performance of Multimedia prior to closing. The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close within twelve months and is being financed through a combination of incremental debt borrowings and cash on hand. Liberty Global already owns Poland’s largest cable TV operator by subscribers, UPC, so the group may have to offer to offload some assets in order to gain regulatory clearance.
Mike Fries, CEO of Liberty Global, commented: ‘This acquisition will significantly increase our scale in Poland, where we are already the largest cable operator. It will also enhance our ability to invest in cutting-edge products and services for Polish consumers and businesses that will help drive organic growth across our enlarged footprint of over four million premises. Upon closing of the transaction, we will begin upgrading the Multimedia network, after which Multimedia’s customers will be able to enjoy superfast broadband speeds and our next-generation video service Horizon TV.’
At the end of June 2016 UPC passed 3.1 million homes, or around 20% of total households in Poland, serving 1.4 million unique customers who subscribed to 2.9 million separate services. At the same date, Multimedia passed 1.6 million homes, mainly through its HFC cable network, serving 832,000 unique customers who subscribed to 1.4 million subscription services consisting of 643,000 video, 491,000 broadband and 241,000 telephony RGUs. In addition, Multimedia had 54,000 MVNO subscribers at 30 June 2016.