UPC Romania speculation mounts
Published: 11.01 UTC, February 25, 2011 by Chris Dziadul
RCS&RDS is reported to be close to acquiring UPC Romania from Liberty Global for a fee of around $300 million (€217.8 million). Quoting market sources, ZF says that the entrepreneur Zoltan Teszari, who holds a 43% stake RCS&RDS, is in the process of selecting the bank to finance any possible deal, having already held talks with Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley since late last year.
There has been speculation about the future of UPC Romania for some time, fuelled by a gradual loss of subscribers in the face of strong competition from RCS&RDS, Romania’s leading cable and DTH operator, and the incumbent telco Romtelecom.
Liberty Global hired the investment bank Rothschilds last year to find a solution for UPC Romania, whose value was initially put at $700 million.
Should UPC Romania be sold to RCS&RDS, the latter would become the undisputed market leader, providing TV services alone to around 4 million homes.
Although any deal would have to be approved by the country’s Competition Council, it has yet to overrule any transaction involving RCS&RDS.
When contacted about the possible sale of UPC Romania, a spokesman for Liberty Global told Broadband TV News that, “we do not comment on market speculation”.