EQT III (”EQT”) has signed an agreement with the Carlyle Group and Providence Equity Partners to sell Com Hem. Under the ownership of EQT, Com Hem has evolved into the leading Swedish triple-play provider of TV, broadband Internet and telephony services.
In June 2003, EQT acquired Com Hem from the TeliaSonera group. Under EQT’s ownership, Com Hem underwent extensive programmes of transformation and investment, which has propelled the company’s growth and profitability. Almost SEK 1 billion has been invested in infrastructure for broadband and telephony offering.
The measures implemented have shown significant and tangible results in terms of market positions on all relevant markets. Com Hem is today the leading triple play provider in Sweden with about 1,430,000 households as customers; including 210,000 digital TV customers, 207,000 broadband customers and 70,000 telephony customers. Homes connected gain access to high-quality broadband Internet services, the market’s broadest offering of TV channels and cost-effective telephony services.
In parallel with revenue growth exceeding 20% annually over the last three years, Com Hem’s EBITDA has increased from SEK 59 million in 2002 to more than SEK 700 million estimated for 2005, thereby materially increasing profitability and cash flow generation.
“Through a change program encompassing customer-, cost- and efficiency-, and organization-related initiatives, Com Hem has evolved into Sweden’s leading triple-play operator. The company’s steadily improving financial performance can directly be attributed to the successful implementation of this program”, said Thomas von Koch, EQT Senior Partner, who advises EQT’s funds.
“We highly appreciate the Carlyle Group and Providence Equity Partners as new owners of Com Hem. They are both leading enterprises in their field on a European basis, have an excellent history of investing in our industry and have declared that they intend to support the current strategy. We look forward to capitalize on our attractive future growth opportunities”, said Gunnar Asp, CEO, Com Hem.
The sale is conditional on approval by the relevant competition authorities.
Morgan Stanley acted as sole financial advisor and Vinge as legal advisor to EQT and Com Hem on this transaction.