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Dentons advised Liberty Global, the world's largest international TV and broadband company, on the acquisition of Multimedia Polska, Poland’s number three cable operator with 1.6 million homes passed, mainly through its hybrid fiber-coaxial cable network, serving 832,000 unique customers who subscribed to 1.4 million subscription services consisting of 643,000 video, 493,000 broadband and 254,000 telephony RGUs. Liberty Global made the acquisition through its Polish unit UPC Polska. As of June 30, 2016, UPC Poland passed 3.1 million homes, or around 20% total households in Poland, serving 1.4 million unique customers who subscribed to 2.9 million cable subscription services. As a result of the combination, UPC Polska will have a subscriber base of 2.2 million, comprising approximately 50% of the Polish cable market.
Multimedia Polska recently reported revenue growth of 4.3% for the first half of 2016, with sales of €84.2 million for the first six months of the year, boosted by sales figures in additional services such as electricity and gas supply.
“Dentons is proud to have advised on this major media acquisition in Central and Eastern Europe,” commented Rob Irving, Co-chair of the Dentons’ global Private Equity group, who co-led the transaction with Igor Ostrowski, Partner in Dentons’ Warsaw office and Head of the Dentons Technology, Media and Telecommunications sector group in Europe. “This deal represents a strategic move in CEE by one of the top multinational players in the sector. Such significant transactions showcase our strengths in cross-border M&A, as well as our capabilities to help international businesses expand in these important growth markets.”
“Consolidation and modernization are significant trends in the Polish cable market, and we are very pleased to be facilitating these processes,” added Igor Ostrowski. “Our deep understanding of the Polish market and the entire CEE region is key to our delivery of services that facilitate expansion by the major international groups in the technology and media sector.”
Mike Fries, CEO of Liberty Global, commented, “This acquisition will significantly increase our scale in Poland, where we are already the largest cable operator. It will also enhance our ability to invest in cutting-edge products and services for Polish consumers and businesses that will help drive organic growth across our enlarged footprint of over four million premises. Upon closing of the transaction, we will begin upgrading the Multimedia Polska network, after which Multimedia Polska’s customers will be able to enjoy superfast broadband speeds and our next-generation video service Horizon TV. Alongside our ongoing and extensive new build program across the Central and Eastern European region, we’re proud to continue our investment in state-of-the-art broadband networks, which represent the core infrastructure of our age in markets around the world.”
The Dentons team on the deal was led by Partners Igor Ostrowski (Warsaw) and Rob Irving (Budapest), supported by Partners Paweł Grabowski (Warsaw) and Chris Watkinson (Budapest/Prague).
Dentons is the world's largest law firm, delivering quality and value to clients around the globe. Dentons is a leader on the Acritas Global Elite Brand Index, a BTI Client Service 30 Award winner and recognized by prominent business and legal publications for its innovations in client service, including founding Nextlaw Labs and the Nextlaw Referral Network. Dentons' polycentric approach and world-class talent challenge the status quo to advance client interests in the communities in which we live and work. www.dentons.com.
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