John Malone’s international cable giant Liberty Global has inked another splashy deal, this time with the purchase of Multimedia Polska, Poland’s third-largest cable operator, for around $760M in cash.
Liberty Global-owned UPC Poland, already the country’s biggest cable company, finalized the deal, which gives the company a firm foothold in the market and sees the combined operations reach more than 4 million homes and businesses the territory.
“The acquisition will significantly increase our scale in Poland, where we are already the largest cable operator,” said Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries in a statement. “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.”
As of June 30, 2016, UPC Poland 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 cable subscription services. At the end of the second quarter of 2016, Multimedia passed 1.6 million homes and served 832,000 unique customers who subscribed to 1.4 million subscription services. Those consisted of 643,000 video, 491,000 broadband and 241,000 telephone service subscribers. In addition, Multimedia had 54,000 mobile subscribers as of June 30.
The acquisition will be financed through a combination of debt and cash, said the company. The deal excludes Multimedia Polska’s non-telecoms businesses such as insurance, gas and other operations. Those will be retained by Multimedia shareholders.
The deal is expected to close within the next year, subject to regulatory approval.
Liberty Global operates in more than 30 countries across Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean and has some 29 million customers who subscribe to more than 59 million television, broadband and telephony services.