Liberty completes Aster deal
19.58 Europe/London, September 16, 2011 By Chris Dziadul

Liberty Global has announced that it has completed the acquisition of a 100% stake in Aster, hitherto Poland’s fourth largest cable operator, from Mid Europa Partners.

Commenting on the deal, Simon Boyd, UPC Polska’s president, said: “Fragmentation of the cable industry contributes to strengthening the position of the strongest players. It is therefore necessary in Poland to build real competition against market giants such as TPSA or nationwide satellite platforms. Buying the company Aster represents a long-awaited start of a process of industry consolidation, and its beginning is a success for the whole environment. Its scale is needed for further development in the highly competitive market in which we operate.”

He added: “The transaction represents a very important step towards implementing the development strategy of UPC Polska. With the permission of the UOKiK (Polish competition authority), we can start the integration process, which first and foremost consumers are waiting for. In this way they will gain access to world-class interactive services offered by UPC Polska.”

Although Liberty Global announced that it had reached an agreement to buy Aster as far back as December 5 last year, it only finally secured permission from the UOKiK earlier this month.

The authority imposed a number of conditions, the most important of which was a requirement for Liberty Global to sell on some of its newly-acquired assets to third parties not connnected to the company in order allievate competition concerns.