EQT and UPC eye Polish cable expansion

By Chris Dziadul
December 2, 2009 08.54 UK

The Swedish investment group EQT V is looking into the possibility of investing in at least two of Poland’s four leading cable operators.

Quoted in Wirtualne Media, its local partner Piotr Czapski said: “we’re interested in the large operators – Aster, Vectra, Multimedia or UPC. Something should happen in the cable market, as the synergies would be large and it’s worth thinking about consolidation”.

He added that, “it would make big sense to buy and merge at last two of the four operators.” Czapski also confirmed that EQT has met with representatives from all four operators but has yet to reach an agreement.

EQT has allocated €850 million in investment funds for CEE and placed Poland at the top of its priority list. Only this October it moved swiftly in Bulgaria, acquiring 100% of Eurocom and 70% of CableTel, the country’s leading cable operators, for a combined fee of €200 million.

The possible move into Poland has come alongside a statement by Liberty Global’s CEO Mike Fries (pictured) at the Reuters Global Media Summit that he expects mergers and acquisitions in the telecom and cable market to pick up.

The company is set to focus on organic growth following its acquisition of Germany’s Unitymedia last month. He added that one of the first markets in which expansion was on the horizon was possibly Poland.