EQT’s Funds IV and V (“EQT”) today announced that they have agreed to sell Kabel BW, Germany’s third largest cable network provider, to U.S. media company Liberty Global Inc. for a total enterprise value of EUR 3,160m.
“Kabel BW is one of the most successful companies in the European cable market, in terms of sales increase, profits, technology and services”, said Gunnar Asp, chairman of Kabel BW’s advisory board and advisor to EQT. ”We have from the outset fostered prosperous growth and developed the company as a benchmark for the sector. We are very glad that Kabel BW will in the future be part of Liberty Global Inc. which is one of the most innovative media groups worldwide and will offer a fantastic environment for further expansion so that the Baden-Württemberg customers will continue to benefit from the best services around”.
EQT acquired Kabel BW in 2006 from private equity group Blackstone and has since then increased sales 120 percent to EUR 563m while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) improved by 160 percent to EUR 316m. With an EBITDA margin of 56 percent Kabel BW is one of the most profitable companies in the sector today.
Since 2007, with EQT’s support, Kabel BW has invested over EUR 600m in Capex and established one of the most modern networks in Europe. This has not only enabled the company to provide internet transfer speeds of up to 100 MBits/s but also to introduce attractive new products. The number of broadband internet and telephone clients (“CleverKabel”) has thus increased by 177 percent since the end of 2007. Further investment-based contributions to Kabel BW’s future growth include a growing number of rented HD receivers and recorders, the company’s own pay-TV offer “MeinTV”, as well as a partnership with Sky and video on demand services offering around 1,000 blockbusters and film classics, partly in HD. Since 2010, Kabel BW has also offered mobile voice services in addition to mobile data transmission.
EQT is the leading private equity group in Northern Europe with more than EUR 13 billion in raised capital and multiple investment strategies. Together with a superior network of Industrial Advisors, EQT implements its business concept by acquiring or financing good medium-sized to large companies in Northern and Eastern Europe, Asia and the United States, developing them into leading companies. Development is achieved by applying an industrial strategy with focus on growth. Since inception, EQT has invested EUR 9.7 billion in more than 85 companies and exited more than 40. EQT-owned companies have more than 500,000 employees.
EQT Partners, acting as investment advisor to all EQT funds, has more than 100 investment professionals with an extensive industrial and financial competence. EQT Partners has offices in Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Oslo, London, Munich, New York, Shanghai, Singapore, Stockholm, Warsaw and Zurich.
More information can be found on www.eqt.se
About Kabel BW
Kabel BW is a high-growth, innovative provider of fast internet, telephone and TV (Triple Play) in the Baden-Wuerttemberg region. Kabel BW is today one of Europe’s largest cable operators in Europe with 2.4 million customers, being present in nearly every second home in Baden-Wuerttemberg. Kabel BW offers attractive packages with an outstanding price-performance ratio with very quick internet broadband (up to 100 Mbit/s) and telephone flat rates. 99% of the 3.6 million cable households in Baden-Wuerttemberg can already take advantage of ‘CleverKabel’ offers due to the extensive modernisation of the network. The modernised cable network provides each household more than 5 GBit/s (5000 Mbit/s) for internet, telephone and TV. Kabel BW customers have access to 400 TV channels (as well as HDTV) and 150 radio channels in analogue or digital.
About Liberty Global, Inc.
Liberty Global is the leading international cable operator offering advanced video, voice and broadband internet services to connect its customers to the world of entertainment, communications and information. As of December 31, 2010, Liberty Global operated state-of-the-art networks serving 18 million customers across 14 countries principally located in Europe, Chile, and Australia. Liberty Global’s operations also include significant programming businesses such as Chellomedia in Europe.
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