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Kabel BW sold to Liberty Global for €3.16 billion

AFP · 21 Mar 2011, 20:10

Published: 21 Mar 2011 20:10 GMT+01:00

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"EQT's Funds IV and V today announced that they have agreed to sell Kabel BW, Germany's third largest cable network provider, to US media company Liberty Global Inc. for a total enterprise value of €3,160 million," EQT said in a statement.

Kabel BW has some 2.3 million clients in the southwestern German state of Baden-Württemberg.

EQT - a private equity fund controlled by Sweden's powerful Wallenberg family - bought the company in 2006 from private equity group Blackstone for €1.3 billion.

During its Swedish ownership, Kabel BW's sales went up 120 percent to €563 million, EQT said Monday.

In 2010, the company's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) improved by 21 percent to €316 million.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that private equity firms CVC Capital Partners and Hellman & Friedman were also bidding for KBW but Liberty Global appeared to have the upper hand.

If its sale had failed, the group was considering going public on the Frankfurt stock exchange.

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Liberty Global Inc. operates broadband services serving 17.7 million clients in 14 countries, including Germany's Unitymedia, Switzerland's Cablecom and Belgium's Telenet, as well as VTR in Chile and AUSTAR in Australia.

"We are very glad that Kabel BW will in the future be part of Liberty Global which is one of the most innovative media groups worldwide and will offer a fantastic environment for further expansion," Gunnar Asp, the chairman of Kabel BW's advisory board, said in the EQT statement.

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Your comments about this article

08:40 March 22, 2011 by nolibs
Cool! Maybe now Kabel BW will roll out services to towns outside large cities. Americans know how to market cable TV. They roll it out to your neighborhood and offer you a low rate and free installation to get you started.

The German/Austrian model....if they roll it out to your neighborhood at all, they then ask you to pay 800 euros for the privilege of having the connection at all in you home. Then you may sign up for cable service.
10:17 March 22, 2011 by idiot
> Americans know how to market cable TV

11:50 March 22, 2011 by aspiadas
"he German/Austrian model....if they roll it out to your neighborhood at all, they then ask you to pay 800 euros for the privilege of having the connection at all in you home. Then you may sign up for cable service. "

Because the cable companies do not have ownership of the end user infrastructure. The NE4 companies have most control. There are hundreds of these companies and generally they can't be bothered to upgrade their networks without a big price tag for the end user.
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