Polish cablecos Vectra and Multimedia Polska are set to merge, just months after the collapse of a planned tie-up between Multimedia and larger rival UPC Poland. According to a report from Broadband TV News, Vectra has filed a notification with the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) stating its intention to become the sole owner of Multimedia. Vectra is the second largest operator in Poland’s cable TV market in subscriber terms, behind UPC, while Multimedia sits in third place. Should their merger gain approval, the enlarged Vectra would leapfrog UPC into number one spot.
In March this year UPC called off its proposed merger with Multimedia, with UPC’s parent company Liberty Global saying: ‘We have withdrawn from the transaction to acquire Multimedia Polska after failing to agree on revised commercial terms with the sellers that take into account current regulatory and market conditions.’ UOKiK had earlier ruled that the merger would have a strong impact on competition in both the internet and pay-TV markets in 15 cities.
Tomasz Zuranski, president of the management board at Vectra, is quoted as saying: ‘This transaction is part of Vectra’s strategy. Increasing the scale of operations strengthens the potential for further development and increases the possibilities of further infrastructural and technological investments. The merged entity will benefit from significant synergies and will be able to function more effectively in the competitive Polish telecommunications market.’