Kabel Deutschland

Kabel Deutschland announces acquisition of three regional cable network operators creating pan-German cable TV business

    Unterfoehring, Germany (ots) -
    
    - Combination of Kabel Deutschland with networks in North Rhine
        Westphalia, Hesse and Baden-Württemberg will create customer
        base of more than 17 million, the largest in Europe.  
    
    - Combined businesses will focus on roll-out of new, efficient
        digital TV services.  Digital roll-out expected to stimulate the
        creation of a wide variety of new programs and provide  greater
        choice for customers
    
    - Investments of approximately Euro 500 million in  plant,
        equipment and new services planned over the next three years
    
    Kabel Deutschland GmbH today announced that it will acquire the
three regional level 3 cable network operators in North
Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg and Hesse, for a combined
consideration of approximately Euro 2.7 bn.
    
    The combination of the companies ish (Cologne), Kabel
Baden-Württemberg (Heidelberg) and iesy (Frankfurt) with Kabel
Deutschland will increase the company's customer base to more than 17
million homes connected.
    
    In three separate agreements, Kabel Deutschland agreed to acquire
100 percent of each of the remaining, non-overlapping level 3 CATV
businesses in Germany: ish (4 million customers), Kabel Baden
Württemberg (2.3 million customers) and iesy  (1.25 million
customers).    Completion of the acquisitions is subject to approval
by the relevant regulatory authorities.    
    
    Following a successful combination of the three regional
companies, Kabel Deutschland will operate the level 3 cable networks
in all 16 German federal states. This will support Kabel
Deutschland's planned rollout of digital TV services.
    
    Investments of Euro 500 mill planned over next three years
    
    The creation of a countrywide network will make it possible to
roll-out digital TV services across Germany using a single
technological platform and  an open set-top box standard across all
16 federal states, resulting in lower overall consumer cost.  It is
also expected, over time, to result in the creation of new product
offerings from the content industry including movie, sport, news,
special interest and general entertainment channels. Kabel
Deutschland plans to invest approximately Euro 500 million in
equipment and new services over the next three years to support its
current and future product offerings.  These investments will further
increase the attractiveness of Kabel Deutschland's services  relative
to competing satellite, digital terrestrial and internet based
platforms.
    
    "With these acquisitions, we are building an excellent platform
for the roll-out of digital cable TV and new multimedia products in
Germany that are already available in many other major European
markets such as the UK, France, Italy and Spain", said Roland
Steindorf, Kabel Deutschland's chief executive. "This will stimulate
significant growth and expansion for both the media and consumer
electronics industry in Germany. Also, the pan-German network will
support an open set-top box standard which provides immediate access
to the digital channels currently being produced by ARD and ZDF."
    
    Regional Structures will be maintained
    
    Following the acquisitions, Kabel Deutschland will maintain the
regional structure of its operations and the local presence of the
acquired businesses.
    
    Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank acted as financial advisors to
Kabel Deutschland.
    
    Kabel Deutschland
    
    Kabel Deutschland (KDG) is the largest cable network operator in
Europe, connecting 10 million households in thirteen German states.
KDG manages the network infrastructure, is responsible for the
marketing of cable access, as well as other related services, and
develops new digital TV and high-speed internet services. The
company's digital TV service provides a platform that is open to all
content providers. In 2003, KDG was acquired from Deutsche Telekom by
a consortium of financial investors comprised of Apax Partners,
Providence Equity Partners and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners.
    
    ish
    
    ish was established in 2000 and is based in Cologne. It operates
North Rhine-Westphalia's cable network, employs a staff of 900 and
has approximately 4 million customers. The shareholders are 22 banks
including Citigroup and Deutsche Bank.
    
    Kabel BW
    
    The company has 2.3 million customers in Baden-Württemberg and
employs approximately 500 staff. It is owned by a group of financial
investors lead by The Blackstone Group, CDP Capital-Communications
and Banc of America Equity Partners.
    
    iesy Hessen
    
    The company operates in Hesse and has 1.25 million customers with
280 employees.  It is majority-owned by private equity firms Apollo,
Pequot and Golden Tree.
    
    
ots Original Text Services: Kabel Deutschland
Internet: http://www.presseportal.ch

Media Contact: Roland Klein, +44-777 6162 997 Stefan Schott, +49-151 1224 16 32



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