UPC To Acquire Dutch Cable Interests
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United Pan-Europe Communications (UPC) announced Thursday that it plans to acquire K&T Group, the cable interests of Dutch corporation N.V. Eneco for NLG 2.35 billion ($1.07 billion), as well as the smaller Tebecai cable system.
K&T has over half a million basic cable television subscribers but only 6,000 broadband Internet subscribers. However, 85 per cent of the network is already two-way capable and the company is about to offer broadband services to the majority of its customers.
UPC says it is also acquiring Tebecai, a cable system in the east of Holland, for NLG 157 million ($71 million), on a debt-free basis. Tebecai has 78,000 basic cable television subscribers and 2,800 Internet subscribers.
Mark Schneider, chairman and chief executive officer of UPC, said the acquisition of Eneco's cable assets represented a key strategic step for UPC in its home market.
"Rotterdam is an important business center while the fiber ring around the Hague also brings access to a substantial business market and reflects a large part of the value of K&T," Schneider added.
UPC is hoping to capture a significant share of the business market in both Rotterdam and The Hague via its Priority CLEC division. Rotterdam, in particular, will become a focus for UPC activity, with support functions scheduled to be located there in the future.
In 1999, K&T generated approximately NLG 161 million ($74 million) turnover, while Tebecai generated NLG 18 million ($8.2 million).
With services in twelve countries, UPC now has a broadband network that passes 9.2 million homes with more than 6.0 million basic cable subscribers. UPC is a subsidiary of Denver based UnitedGlobalCom in which Microsoft has a 7.0 per cent holding.