UPC sets sights on Aster

By Chris Dziadul
December 17, 2009 07.39 UK

UPC Polska has officially expressed an interest in acquiring Aster, Poland’s fourth largest cable operator.

Speaking to Rzeczpospolita, UPC Polska’s president Simon Boyd said that he expects Aster to become the first leading Polish operator to come on the market. “If that happens, we will be interested in buying it.”

Buying Aster, which is currently owned by Mid Europa Partners, would probably cost Liberty Global-owned UPC Polska in the region of PLN1.6 billion (€380.7 million). It would also see UPC Polska’s subscriber total rise to over 1.4 million, or double that of its nearest competitor Vectra.

Boyd added that in his view the first steps in the long-awaited consolidation amongst Poland’s leading cable operators are over 50% likely to take place in the coming year. Aster has meanwhile denied that the company will be put up for sale.

Earlier this month, the Swedish investment group EQT V expressed an interest in acquiring at least two of Poland’s four leading cable operators.