BC Partners satisfied with Unitymedia deal

Monday, 16 November 2009

The financial investors behind Unitymedia are satisfied with the sale of Germany’s second-largest cable operator to US media concern Liberty Global.

“It’s a good deal for Unitymedia, for Liberty and for us investors, which will strengthen competition in the German market,” BC Partners head Raymond Svider told German financial newspaper Handelsblatt.

Svider confirmed for the first time that, as speculated, a stock market flotation was originally planned for Unitymedia. “The float was the basic scenario for us, and we took it seriously. We didn’t follow in parallel the strategy of a sale, so it wasn’t a dual track procedure. In fact, we would have announced the flotation on Friday and before Christmas Unitymedia would have been on the stock market,” revealed Svider.

“Liberty Global approached us at short notice,” Svider added. “We had spoken about Unitymedia on several occasions over the past one and a half years, without negotiating. Liberty knows very precisely the company and its strengths and two and a half, three weeks ago came a very attractive offer. We were able to reach an agreement very quickly. Liberty has negotiated very efficiently and we are indeed very happy with the deal.”

Liberty Global, headed by US billionaire John Malone, paid €3.5 billion for 100% of the shares. The sale, which still needs regulatory approval, is expected to be completed in the first half of 2010.