KDG, Unitymedia interested in Orion Cable

Jörn Krieger

Germany’s two largest cable operators, Kabel Deutschland (KDG) and Unitymedia, would like to take over their smaller competitor Orion Cable if the company is broken up due to its high debts.

“Should it come to a sale, we are interested,” confirmed a KDG spokeswoman to German financial newspaper Handelsblatt. According to sources close to the negotiations, discussions are already taking place between the two companies.

Unitymedia also has its eye on Orion Cable. “We look at all networks that come on the market. We are particularly interested in the Orion networks in Hessen and North Rhine Westfalia,” a company insider told the newspaper, although the Cologne-based cable operator has officially declined to make a statement. Telecommunications concerns such as Vodafone are also reported to be interested in a takeover of Orion Cable, which is burdened with debts of € 1.8 billion.

The Orion Cable group, to which Tele Columbus and PrimaCom belong, has a total of 3.2 million customers, mostly in eastern Germany. The company, owned by financial investors, is Germany’s largest operator of “last mile” network level 4 (NE4) connections, which large NE3 operators such as KDG and Unitymedia require in order to market their lucrative telephony and internet services directly to end customers.