Excite Chello Deal Is Off

[London, ENGLAND] United Pan-Europe Communications (UPC) and
[email protected] have abandoned their mega-deal to create Excite
Chello, a venture that would have created the largest broadband
company outside North America.

The proposed deal, first announced in July this year, proved
to be too complex and was fraught with difficult business issues
that the parties were unable to resolve.

Mark Schneider, chairman of the UnitedGlobalCom subsidiary
UPC which owns broadband operator chello, said both sides had
worked very hard, but in the end they were not able to reach
agreement.

“We have therefore decided that it is in the best interest
of our shareholders to focus on our core broadband Internet
subscriber business and the tremendous interactive TV opportunity
that exists in the extensive United Group footprint of cable
TV, satellite and broadband wireless operations,” said Schneider.

Schneider went on to point out the chello still had the support
of Liberty Media Corporation, a fact that was confirmed by
Liberty’s Chairman John Malone.


Roger Lynch, president and chief executive of chello broadband,
said the business was continuing to expand rapidly and
exceeded 0.3 million broadband Internet subscribers in November.

“This represents the largest base of broadband Internet subscribers
in Europe and more than triple the number we had this time last year,”
said Lynch.

Chello is proud of its high penetration rate, which currently
stands at between 10 percent and 12 percent of the homes where
its service is available in Western European markets. It has
a reputation as being a first-rate Internet service provider
— and was chosen as Best European Consumer ISP at last year’s
ISP Forum.

In November this year, chello announced its expansion into
Central Europe in a partnership with Hungarian broadband company
UPC Magyarország.

Outside Europe, chello distributes broadband by cable in New
Zealand and Chile, while in Australia it has a wireless and
satellite operation.

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